UN says Pakistan must stop executions

Geneva, Switzerland (AFP) — The United Nations on Wednesday urged Pakistan to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, condemning a recent surge in executions.

The plea came as the number of people executed in Pakistan rose to 182 since a moratorium was lifted in December last year, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Some 8,000 people are currently on death row in Pakistan, said the OHCHR, whose statement came after two murder convicts were executed by hanging following a one-month break during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that ended in mid-July.

“I reiterate my previous call to 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,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns.

“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.

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