Pakistan death row inmates about to face execution

December 23, 2014 8:36 am

The majority of those killed during last week's school attack in Karachi were the children of army personnelPresident Mamnoon Hussain rejected the mercy petitions of more than 50 people convicted of terrorist offences in Pakistan and now they are about to face imminent execution, officials say.

Six people executed have been executed since a moratorium was lifted in the wake of a Taliban school massacre.

Hundreds more executions could follow in the next few months, reports say.

The president’s move denotes that some executions can take place across the country at any time.

The Taliban attack in Peshawar killed 141 people and caused outrage across the country, with renewed calls for convicted terrorists to face capital punishment.

Human rights groups say that Pakistan has the world’s largest number of death row inmates, with more than 8,000 people awaiting execution.

Amnesty International on Monday said that moves to execute 500 people in the coming weeks were “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the Taliban.

Rights campaigners in Pakistan claims that many of those on death row are not connected with terrorist groups.

Pakistani police searching the area around the school in PeshawarAs well as lifting the moratorium on executions, authorities have cut the time between issuing a warrant for hanging and carrying out the sentence to just three days.

“Terrorism and sectarianism are a cancer for this country and now the time has come to root it out,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said.

“The government will not differentiate between terrorists and their facilitators. They both will be taken out,”  he said.

The prime minister said that offensives against militants would be launched in rural and urban areas of the country in addition to the operation in North Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Thousands of Pakistanis visited the army-run school on Sunday to mourn those killed.

It has accused the authorities of routinely overusing anti-terrorism laws to secure convictions. The human rights organisation Reprieve has warned that innocent people could be executed as a result of the government’s decision to lift its moratorium.

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