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HRW calls upon Pak to reinstate death penalty moratorium

Lahore, Thu, 22 Nov 2012 ANI

Lahore, Nov. 22 (ANI): The Human Rights Watch has asked the Pakistani government to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty following the recent execution of a former soldier.

According to Human Rights Watch, the hanging of murder convict Muhammad Hussain on November 15 by Pakistani military authorities at Mianwali jail, ended Pakistan's widely hailed unofficial moratorium on the death penalty that had been in place since 2008, reports the Daily Times.

According to official figures, Pakistan has more than 7,000 prisoners on death row, one of the largest populations of prisoners facing execution in the world.

"After a four-year unofficial moratorium, Pakistan has reverted to the odious practice of sending people to the gallows. Instead, the government should declare an official moratorium, commute all existing death sentences, and then abolish the death penalty for all crimes once and for all," said Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch, Ali Dayan Hasan.

On February 12, 2009, Hussain was sentenced to death for murdering his senior colleague in 2008. He subsequently filed mercy petitions to the army's General Headquarters and the Army Chief, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, but they were rejected. Hussain's final mercy petition to President Asif Ali Zardari was rejected on December 30, 2011. (ANI)

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