UN urges Pakistan to restore death moratorium as eight more are hanged in Punjab jails

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The United Nations on Wednesday urged Pakistan to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, as eight more death row convicts were executed on Wednesday in jails throughout Punjab.

Three death row prisoners, including a man Aftab Ahmed and his son Muhammad Usman, were hanged in Attock Jail. Both were convicted in a double murder case in the Attock police area. The motive behind the murder was a domestic dispute. The third convict, Safdar, was also found guilty of a double murder committed in 2003.

A condemned prisoner was executed in Sargodha’s district jail. Muhammad Nawaz was convicted for killing a man in the Thana Atta Shaheed area in 2002. Nayyar Abbad from Muzaffargarh was hanged to death in Central Jail Multan. He was found guilty of murder over a minor feud in 1996. Another death row prisoner, Gulfan, was executed in Gujrat District Jail. He was guilty of murdering a man in Jalalpur Jattan back in 2001. The motive behind the crime was defined as personal enmity.

Ahmed Din was hanged in District Jail Jhang. He was convicted of killing a man named Shireen Khan over a land dispute in April 2001. Tufail was convicted of a double murder in 2001 and was hanged at Kasur District Jail.

Muhammad Tariq was due to be hanged in District Jail Jhang on Wednesday after being convicted of the October 2000 murder of Muhammad Akram. His execution was suspended by a local sessions court after a settlement was reached with the complainant party.

UN CALLS FOR END TO EXECUTIONS:

Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns in a statement called on Pakistan to continue the moratorium on actual executions and to put in place a legal moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to its abolition.

“Several other executions may take place in the coming days, and most of them fall short of international norms,” Heyns said. The OHCHR said at least two of those on death row had severe disabilities.

“We call on the authorities of Pakistan to protect the right to health of Abdul Basit and Khizar Hayat, and other inmates in death row with severe psychosocial disabilities,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras.

The European Union and human rights campaigners have previously urged Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium.