Death penalty: 135 death row convicts executed in 6 months, says HRCP

Death warrants were issued for two convicts on Wednesday.


Our Correspondents June 03, 2015
PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD/ LAHORE:


A double-murder convict was hanged at Lahore Central Jail on Wednesday.


Additional Jail Superintendent Mian Zahid Mahmood said Javed had murdered two people at the Lahore cantonment courts on September 19, 1987. North Cantt police had registered an FIR against him under Sections 7 of the ATA and 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

In 1989, an anti-terrorism court sentenced him to death twice. Javed’s appeal for clemency had been dismissed and he was hanged on Wednesday.

A district and sessions judge issued death warrants for two convicts scheduled to be hanged on June 4 and 9 at Kot Lakhpat Jail. They were accomplices in a murder. Their appeals had been dismissed by appellant courts. The president had also dismissed their appeals for clemency.  Shamsul Haq will be hanged on June 4 and Muhammad Nawaz on June 9.

In Faisalabad, Tandlianwala Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Akram Sheikh sentenced a man to death on Wednesday. Prosecution said Muhammad Siddique had shot and killed Muhammad Naseem, a move producer, and injured a teenager during a quarrel at a wedding ceremony at Chak 421-GB. The court sentenced Muhammad Siddique to death and directed him to pay Rs200,000 as compensation to the family of the deceased.

Execution suspended

The death warrants of three convicts at the Rawalpindi Central Jail (Adiala Jail) were suspended on orders of a Chakwal sessions judge. The arrangements to hang Ikram Hussain, Javed Sultan and Rafique on Wednesday had been complete. However, the complainant’s family forgave them a few hours before they were supposed to be hanged.

In Lahore, an additional district and sessions judge acquitted a suspect accused of murder after the family of the deceased forgave him. The court acquitted Fazal Kareem of killing Muhammad Taj over a domestic dispute on May 18, 2013. Raiwind police had registered an FIR against him and had submitted a challan before court declaring him guilty. On Wednesday, Shamim Akhtar, wife of deceased, appeared before court and said they had reached a compromise with Kareem’s family.

HRCP condemns executions

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed grave concern that the number of executed death row prisoners in Pakistan had reached 135 this year on Wednesday – the highest for any year in a decade. The HRCP has called on the government to halt executions and abolish capital punishment. The commission said: “The resumption of executions as well as the pace at which they are being carried out is a matter of grave concern. The state of Pakistan executed 134 persons in 12 months in 2007. That number has been exceeded in little over five months in 2015.”  The statement says that circumstances for suspending capital punishment in the country for six years have not changed. Deficiencies in law and a flawed criminal justice system continue to pose threats of wrongful convictions.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2015.

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