Pakistan Executes Two More for Terrorism: Police Official

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Pakistan Executes Two More for Terrorism: Police Official

File Photo: Pakistani soldiers stand guard outside a facility housing some of the death row convicts. (AP Photo)

Multan, Pakistan:  Pakistan on Wednesday hanged two men sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court, taking the number of executions to nine since the country lifted a moratorium on capital punishment after last month's Taliban school massacre.

The convicts, Ghulam Shabbir and Ahmed Ali (alias Sheesh Naag), were reportedly members of banned sectarian militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The two were sentenced to death in 2002 by an anti-terrorism court -- Shabbir for killing a senior police official and his driver, and Ali for killing three people.

They were hanged in the southern city of Multan early Wednesday.

"Two men convicted for murders, Ghulam Shabbir and Ahmed Ali, were hanged till death today," Saeedullah Gondal, superintendent of the jail where the executions took place, told AFP.

"Their bodies were handed over to their families."

Pakistan last month lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases in the wake of the Taliban's horrific massacre at an army-run school in the city of Peshawar.

The attack on December 16 left 150 people dead, the vast majority of them children.

Pakistani officials have said they plan to hang 500 convicts in the coming weeks, drawing protest from international human rights campaigners.

Pakistan's parliament on Tuesday approved the setting up of military courts to hear terrorism-related cases in a bid to speed up hearings.

The country's notoriously slow civil court procedures often delays justice for years.

On Tuesday, authorities halted the death sentence of Shafqat Hussain, who was convicted of murdering a seven-year-old boy in 2004 when he was just 15, following an outcry from rights groups.

Despite the moratorium, which began in 2008, courts continued to issue death sentences and Amnesty International estimates there are around 8,000 people on death row in Pakistan.

The United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on Pakistan to re-impose its moratorium on the death penalty.

Rights campaigners say Pakistan overuses its anti-terror laws and courts to prosecute ordinary crimes.



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