Lahore, October 10, 2017: On the World Day against the Death Penalty on October 10, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has urged the government to urgently institute safeguards to ensure that a generalised resumption of executions does not violate Pakistan’s human rights obligations.
In a statement issued to the media, the Commission said: “As we observe the 15th World Day against the Death Penalty, HRCP calls upon the government to take stock of the pressing issues that have arisen ever since it terminated the moratorium in December 2014.
“In addition to the various and well-documented challenges that a generalised recourse to capital punishment presents, there is an urgent need to introduce safeguards in instances where the age of the convict or his or her mental or physical ability is in question.”
Furthermore, the socio-economic status of a convict tends to be directly proportional to their risk of being sentenced to death and execution. This year the World Day against Death Penalty is bringing into focus the link between poverty and capital punishment.
“While HRCP calls upon the government to suspend the death penalty in the country as a first step towards abolition, it demands that these new issues should be urgently addressed through a conscious policy and not merely through last minute action in response to pleas from civil society in individual cases.”
Dr Mehdi Hasan