EU calls on Pakistan to reinstate death penalty moratorium

Published: June 11, 2015


The European Union (EU) on Thursday expressed concern over increasing executions in Pakistan and demanded the government to reinstate the death penalty moratorium to fully respect all of its international obligations.

A statement  released by an EU spokesperson said at least 150 people have been executed across the country since December 2014, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on capital punishment.

Read: Capital punishment: EU troubled by lifting of moratorium

“This represents a major step backwards in Pakistan’s record on human rights, as per the European Union which has been opposed to capital punishment in all cases and has consistently called for its universal abolition,” the statement said.

Under domestic and international law in Pakistan, the death sentence for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen is prohibited.

The law also makes it obligatory to prompt impartial investigation into such cases where there is reasonable ground to believe that torture has been committed.

Read: Aftab Bahadur Masih hanged in Lahore

The statement comes a day after Aftab Bahadur Masih was executed in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail despite requests from rights groups and church leaders to halt the execution.

His petition, alleging his juvenile status at the time of the crime and torture while in custody to extract a confession, was not given due consideration.

Read: SC rejects Shafqat Hussain’s appeal against IHC order

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court dismissed the latest petition of Shafqat Hussain whose case has come under scrutiny as he may have been a juvenile at the time the crime was committed. Alleged torture is also prominent in his case.

Effective implementation of the international conventions is a requirement under the European Union’s GSP+ Regulation, the statement concluded.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • aF
    Jun 11, 2015 - 12:33PM

    This is Pakistan’s internal matter. Please leave us on our own. First try to stop killings of people all over the World which are brutal than hanging.Recommend

  • PAK
    Jun 11, 2015 - 1:23PM

    Dear EU, first close Guantanamo Bay which exhibits worst Human rights violations, then talk about this.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jun 11, 2015 - 1:46PM

    We don’t like the religious discrimination they have in Europe (e.g. niqab ban, ban on slaughter etc.), but we accept it as a law of the land. Justice demands that EU also has to accept the laws in the muslim world. They should not be even asking for a review of such matters, let alone changing it. Sad that the so called civilized and most tolerant are actually the most intolerant. Recommend

  • Answer
    Jun 11, 2015 - 1:50PM

    Pleas stop killing of Muslims in Burma, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Kashmir, etc. Since killers are all non-Muslims so they are not terrorists. Where is your human rights on the issues mentioned above? Where are the EU? We don’t see any news on so called Western independent media channels. Please stop criticising us. Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Jun 11, 2015 - 2:06PM

    If the European Union countries want people in Pakistan to believe that their concern for human suffering is genuine, and is based on sound principles, we Pakistanis would want them to raise just as strong a voice against the inhuman treatment meted out to Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar government, and take practical steps to make Myanmar government behave. As a powerful bloc of influential nations, and carrying sufficient influence with the United States, the EU and US could threaten Myanmar government with sanctions and make it reverse its policies which are inhuman in the extreme and are causing extreme misery, suffering and even death to a very large number of innocent people. However, we do not see any move from the so-called civilized world in that direction. They take an easy way out and feel that their duty to the suffering humanity stands fully discharged by pressuring countries like Pakistan which need to take appropriate steps to control the increasing lawlessness, militancy and terrorism which are un-nerving the innocent, law-abiding citizens, wrecking business activity and in fact are posing an existential threat to the country.

    Observing EU countries excessive sympathy for the convicted murderers and comparing that with their lack of similar interest in the plight of Rohingya Muslims, one is bound to conclude that their approach is definitely lopsided.

    Karachi Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 11, 2015 - 2:48PM

    How many times have they asked US, Saudia, China etc. to put a stop to death penalty?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 11, 2015 - 3:38PM

    The current law and order situation warrants capital punishment to control terrorist activities in Pakistan. Moreover, due to lack of tolerance, for minor issues people resort to killing others. Only capital punishments can discourage would be killers.
    The killers have right to pay money to the family of the killed person, if they agee. Also killed person’s family can forgive the killer, again if they want to.
    What will be the feelings of killed person’s family if the killers is freed and kills more persons.
    EU’s concern is appreciated but in view of above reasons, the issue should not be over emphasized.Recommend

  • citizen26
    Jun 11, 2015 - 3:50PM

    Universal Abolition – HAHAHA. Capital punishment has been in existence since human being ever came into the world and every society have had it as pusnihment for criminals. When they say Want it to be abolished, do they want to create some sort of a New World Order? Ask EU that shall we start sending these criminals to EU for court trials and should we also send all of our Jail Convicts to EU under the pretext of Not being given a Fair Trial? If EU is so seriously concerned for such convicts then they should take this oppurtunity to serve mankind.Recommend

  • German resident Pakistani
    Jun 11, 2015 - 5:34PM

    Dear EU,
    Well said. Fair enough!
    So, when did you put moratorium on being a part of US-led invasions in natural resource rich countries?Recommend

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