Pakistan ends execution freeze

Pakistan is to resume executions for all death penalty offences, months after a moratorium was partially lifted to allow executions of terror convicts.

All condemned prisoners who have exhausted the appeals process and whose pleas for clemency are rejected now face execution, officials say.

Executions were suspended for seven years until some resumed after the Peshawar school massacre in December.

More than 8,000 people are on death row in Pakistan, human rights groups say.

About 1,000 have lost their appeals and had clemency petitions rejected, a senior official quoted by AFP news agency said.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says it is not clear why the moratorium has been lifted at this time.

The move, which ends a seven-year-long suspension of executions in Pakistan, was condemned as “irresponsible” by human rights law firm Justice Project Pakistan.

“We’ve seen time and time again that there is immeasurable injustice in Pakistan’s criminal justice system, with a rampant culture of police torture, inadequate counsel and unfair trials,” said executive director Sarah Belal.

– BBC

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