HR body urges Pak govt to abolish death penalty

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Islamabad, June 17 : New York-based international human rights body - the Human Rights Watch, has urged the Pakistan Government to abolish death penalty in the country as, according to it, most of the convicts facing death penalty were poor and illiterate and tried without due process of law.

Presently, out of more than 31,400 convicts in Pakistan, about 7000 have been sentenced to death, The News quoted the rights group as saying in a statement.

Most convicts are poor and illiterate, it said, and added that many are held without due process of law and faced trials that did not meet international standards, the statement said.

The group said in 2007, 309 prisoners were sentenced to death and134 were hanged. "The number of persons sentenced to death and executed every year in Pakistan is among the highest in the world. If the new government is really interested in justice, it would end this unacceptable state of affairs," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.


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