PAKISTAN: COURT STAYS HANGING OF A MURDERER SET TO BE EXECUTED ON 18 SEPTEMBER
September 16, 2014: A Pakistani court postponed for almost a month the hanging of a murderer in what would have been the countryâs first civilian execution for six years, lawyers said.
Shoaib Sarwar, who was convicted in 1998, was set to be hanged in Rawalpindiâs Adiyala jail on 18 September following orders issued by another court the week before.
Pakistan has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.
"We are relieved to have managed to avert this impending injustice through a stay order," said Maryam Haq, a lawyer from the non-profit group Justice Project Pakistan.
Prosecution branch officials confirmed the staying of the execution until 13 October.
Maryam said her organisation had argued that the execution should be stayed on the basis that Sarwar had been in prison for over 18 years â longer than a life sentence â therefore execution would mean he was being punished twice for the same crime. They also argued that since Sarwar was a complainant in a petition for the abolition of the death penalty currently being heard by the apex court, that case should be decided upon first. (Sources: AFP, 16/09/2014)