Pakistan 'quickly' hangs seven more prisoners before Ramadan begins in the country tomorrow

As 'a mark of respect' for the Holy Month, the country says it will not execute any of the 8,000 prisoners it currently has on death row

Families across the country have been mourning their loved ones they say were 'tortured and forced into confessing to crimes they did not commit'
Families across the country have been mourning their loved ones they say were 'tortured and forced into confessing to crimes they did not commit'

Pakistan has "quickly" hanged seven prisoners across the country – just days after issuing an order which temporarily banned all executions ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan, reports say.

The hanged include three murder convicts – Nabeel Ahmed, Muhammed Saleem and Muhammed Rashid – who were all killed amid high security at the Faisalabad Central Jail, says Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune.

The paper also adds two other prisoners were executed in Sahiwal Central Jail.

Pakistani NGO activists have been campaigning for the death penalty to be abolished

A man, who was convicted for the murder of two people, was hanged in Mianwali Central Jail while the seventh inmate – who was found guilty of committing a murder 15 years ago – was the final to be executed in Gujrat.

Since a ban was lifted on the death penalty in the country six months ago – after the Taliban stormed a school in Peshawar, killing 132 children – Pakistan has come under heavy international criticism for carrying-out over 150 executions – now making it one of the world’s most prolific executioners.

Beginning tomorrow, Pakistan has, however, decided to pause the hanging of prisoners for 30 days – ‘as a mark of respect’ – during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Shafqat Hussain's mother holds a photograph of her son from when he was a teenager

The inspector-general of prisons in southern Sindh province, Nusrat Mangan, told global news agency AFP: “It is a tradition that nobody is executed in the fasting month of Ramadan and the authorities have ordered that this tradition continues this year too.”

Shafqat Hussain – who was due to be hanged on June 9 after being convicted of kidnap and murder in September 2004 – will, after international condemnation, have his execution stayed once more.

Referring to Mr Hussain’s impending hanging, Mr Mangan added: “We have to seek death warrants two weeks prior to hang any convict, so his hanging will take place after at least one month.”

The beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan was determined in the country yesterday as Muslim leaders observed the moon and announced fasting will begin tomorrow, putting all executions on hold for 30 days

Just last week, an ‘innocent’ man, Aftab Bahadur Masih – who consistently claimed he was ‘forced into confessing to a murder he did not commit’ – finally faced the gallows after spending 23 years on death row.

Critics from across the world have said that Pakistan’s criminal justice system is ‘severely flawed’ by police torture and poor legal representation, meaning many of those facing death have not had a fair trial.

Amnesty International says there are at least 8,000 convicts on death row in jails across Pakistan.

Human rights lawyer, Saroop Ijaz– who has been working tirelessly since the capital punishment ban was lifted in December – described the current situation in Pakistan by saying: “The government has started hanging people left, right and centre in order to look tough.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in