Pakistan is "the third most prolific executioner in the world" says UN official

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Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

The government of Pakistan has been urged to reintroduce a moratorium on the death penalty.

The appeal was made on Thursday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

He expressed regret that more than 150 individuals, including juvenile offenders have been executed since the moratorium was lifted in March.

Ana Carmo, reports.

The moratorium was lifted in the aftermath of an attack on a school in Peshawar in December last year.

The UN human rights chief said he shared Pakistan's outrage and grief at the senseless killing of 145 people, including schoolchildren by the Pakistan Taliban.

However, he added, he was very disturbed that the response of the Pakistani authorities has been to execute just as many people in the six months that have passed since the massacre.

Mr Al Hussein said Pakistan "has gone from zero to 154 executions in just six months, making it the third most prolific executioner in the world."

The UN human rights pointed out that more than 8,000 people remain on death row in the Asian country, of whom 800 were reportedly juveniles when they committed the offence.

He warned that mass executions are not likely to deter crimes like the Peshawar massacre but can be used by extremists as examples of the miscarriage of justice to recruit individuals to what he described as "their twisted causes".

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 1'05"

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