Pakistani government urged to reinstate moratorium on death penalty

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UN Photo/Martine Perret

The Government of Pakistan has been urged by the UN to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty as soon as possible.

A moratorium established by the UN in 2007 calls on all countries that maintain the death penalty to suspend it with a view to abolition.

After imposing the moratorium for seven years, Pakistan reinstated the death penalty in December 2014 following a school attack in Peshawar that killed over 140 people.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The UN has expressed what it called "deep concern" at the increasing number and pace of executions in Pakistan since the end of last year.

That's when the Government announced it was withdrawing its moratorium on the death penalty on cases related to terrorism.

But after the partial lift, Pakistan recently announced it is reinstating the death penalty for all cases.

According to some estimates, there are more than 8,000 prisoners on death row in the country.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that among those executed some were minors when the offence was committed.

The UN has consistently called for an unequivocal end to the execution of people who are convicted of committing a crime when they were under the age of 18.

The UN is also reiterating that there is no scientific proof that the death penalty serves as a deterrent or contributes to combating crime or violent extremism.

Around 160 States have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it, a number which has been steadily growing in recent years.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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