It has been over two years since the tragic terrorist attack on the students and staff of the Army Public School in Peshawar. No amount of commiseration or time is great enough to mitigate the horror of that day. In response, Pakistan ended its six-year-old moratorium on capital punishment as part of its National Action Plan (NAP). The government was adamant that only those convicted of terrorism would be executed. This was false, as the moratorium for all capital crimes was lifted just three months later in March 2015.
The move was widely tooted by the state as the only effective means of fighting terrorism. But an analysis of the 475 executions that occurred from Dec. 2014 to till date reveals significant flaws in that narrative. According to data collected by Justice Project Pakistan, only 16 percent of the executions carried out since December 2014 were related to terrorism charges.
The remainder have included several cases of wrongful execution such as juveniles, the mentally ill and the physically disabled, all of which are expressly forbidden in light of Pakistan’s international legal obligations. Widespread and fundamental failings of the criminal justice system warrant an immediate suspension of the capital punishment regime in Pakistan.
Join us in calling on Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan to reinstate the moratorium on all executions. If they do not, many more innocent, mentally ill, physically disabled and juveniles will be sent to the gallows.
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Ask Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan to
Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan, we the undersigned call on you to show mercy to the mentally ill, the physically disabled and juvenile offenders who are currently on death row. We strongly urge you to undertake action to reform our criminal justice system that continues to punish only the most vulnerable members of our society. We demand that until this is done, the Government of Pakistan reinstates the moratorium on the death penalty.
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