Government hangs 12 convicts in largest execution since moratorium lifted



Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a de facto moratorium on capital punishment on December 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 132 students and nine teachers. The slaughter put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the militant insurgency.


According to media sourcesthree death row prisoners, Mubasher Abbas, Muhammad Sharif and Riaz, were executed in District Jail Jhang. Riaz was convicted of murdering one person in 1995, while Abbas and Sharif kidnapped a taxi driver in 2012 and killed him later.


Muhammad Afzal and Muhammed Faisal were executed in Central Jail Karachi. Both the death row prisoners had killed a person in Korangi during a dacoit. In 1999 they were sentenced to death. Hours before his execution, Afzal’s clemency plea was also rejected by the Supreme Court.


Two death row prisoners, Rab Nawaz and Zafar Iqbal. Nawaz was convicted for murdering a woman, while Iqbal killed his father in 2003.


Two convicts, Malik Nadeem and Muhammed Javed were executed in Rawalpindi.


In Central Jail Faisalabad death row prisoner Muhammad Nawaz was executed. In 1992, Nawaz was sentenced to death for murder. His family visited him prior to his execution.


In Central Jail Gujranwala prisoner Iqbal was executed. In 1996, Iqbal had murdered his paternal uncle.


Death row prisoner Waqar was executed in Multan for murdering a a man identified as Taufeeq during a dacoit

Dera Ghazi Khan

In Central Jail Dera Ghazi Khan death row prisoner Asghar Ali was executed. The complainant who had filed a case against Ali had forgiven him before his execution.

Twenty-seven people have been hanged since then, most of them militants, but last week it emerged that officials had quietly widened the policy to include all prisoners on death row whose appeals had been rejected.

“They were not only terrorists, they included the other crimes, some of them were murderers and some did other heinous crimes,” the ministry spokesman said of the 12 executed at various jails.

The moratorium on executions had been in place since a democratic government took power from a military ruler in 2008.

Human rights groups say many convictions in Pakistan are highly unreliable.

Its antiquated criminal justice system barely functions, torture has often been used to extract confessions and police are rarely trained in investigation, rights officials say.

There are more than 8,000 Pakistanis on death row.

On Thursday, the government is due to execute Shafqat Hussain. His lawyers say he was 14 when he was arrested a decade ago for the kidnap and manslaughter of a child, and his conviction was based on a confession extracted after nine days of torture.

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