HRCP on executions: human dignity should be respected all year round

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The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has welcomed the suspension of executions in the holy month of Ramzan and called for an unbiased assessment of a general resumption of hangings.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, HRCP said, “The commission welcomes the government decision to stop executions ‘in reverence for the Holy month of Ramadan and human dignity’. The fasting month should perhaps also be an occasion to take stock of the losses and also gains, if there have been any, following a generalised resumption of hangings.”

The statement read, “The HRCP cannot agree more with the assessment that the state executing people is a notion that conflicts with human dignity and that dignity and human life are permanent value that must be respected throughout the year and not just during Ramazan.”

The statement further read, “The commission notes with grave concern that the president has rejected mercy petitions of 65 condemned prisoners, including a woman, Kaneezan Bibi, who is imprisoned in Lahore, paving the way for their execution once the holy month ends. Media reports have quoted Prisons Department official as saying that she had not been executed so far because of her unstable mental condition and was said to be admitted to Mental Hospital,”

“HRCP urges the government to review rejection of her mercy petition as Pakistan must not seek the ignominy of hanging a mentally challenged person,” the statement concluded.

1 COMMENT

  1. HRCP has unfortunately chosen to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

    This honorable Pakistani body is expected to come out unequivocally against capital punishment. Instead we get this confusing message above asking for 'an unbiased assessment of a general resumption of hangings.' It follows with “The HRCP cannot agree more with the assessment that the state executing people is a notion that conflicts with human dignity and that dignity …" . Note this attempt at dilution: "cannot agree more with the assessment " rather than lead strongly against the taking of life.

    The HRCP doesn't need to be reminded that had such punishments led to a country becoming civilized, one would have seen crime plummet in Saudi Arabia. Instead one sees far better control of violence in countries such as Sweden where killing by the State is forbidden.

    Retribution for crimes is often sought by people and countries which have failed to impart the message of peace and civilized behavior within. It is for the HRCP to provide leadership through clear statements directed at pressuring the State to move away from the model of punishment in Saudia towards that in northern Europe.

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