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Two More Hanged

by AFP
Yoav Lemmer—AFP

Yoav Lemmer—AFP

A LeJ militant and a non-terror-related murderer are the latest convicts executed in Pakistan.

Pakistan on Thursday hanged two militants convicted of murder, bringing to 18 the number of executions it has carried out since it lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a school massacre last month.

Muhammad Saeed Awan, a member of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group, was hanged at Karachi’s Central Jail, an official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Awan was convicted of shooting to death police officer Sadiq Hussain Shah and his son, Abid Hussain Shah, in 2001.

Another convict was hanged in Lahore in the early hours of Thursday. “Zahid Hussain, a convict was hanged in Lahore central prison today [Thursday] morning, he was convicted in the murder case of a police official and three others in Multan,” said Malik Mubashir, a senior prison official. It was not immediately clear whether Hussain belonged to a militant outfit, but he had been tried by an anti-terror court.

The United Nations, the European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on Pakistan to re-impose its moratorium on the death penalty, which ran from 2008 until December 2014. Rights campaigners say Pakistan overuses its anti-terror laws and courts to prosecute ordinary crimes. There are also concerns that death row convicts from non-terror related cases could be executed.

A court in Rawalpindi on Wednesday overturned a stay order preventing the execution of convicted murderer Shoaib Sarwar, a spokesman for the law firm representing him said. Sarwar was convicted of murder in 1998 while he was still a juvenile, claimed Shahab Siddiqui of the Justice Project Pakistan, adding he had acted in his own defense and that of his sister.

The court’s decision to overturn his stay order now means a “black warrant” for his execution can be issued at any time and carried out within 24 hours.

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