PAKISTAN: MORE THAN 350 PRISONERS HANGED SINCE DECEMBER 2014, GOVERNMENT TELLS THE SUPREME COURT
March 22, 2016: In Islamabad, federal government notified the highest court of the 353 death row prisoners hanged in the country since December 2014.
Earlier on, the governmentâ€™s response had been sought by the Supreme Court with regards to the numerous mercy petitions filed by neglected prisoners rotting in jails for years.
2008 witnessed the temporary prohibition of executions whilst the condition for terrorism-related cases was raised on December 16, 2014 when 150 people, especially students, were killed in a terror attack on Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar.
The Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti had, on behalf of the interior ministry, placed in a one-page response, claiming that 444 mercy petitions had been disallowed by the president since December 2014.
33 petitions were still undergoing a process whilst 38 cases were yet to receive a decision by the interior ministry, he further said.
A three-judge bench of the court sat on February 2 and debated on a petition brought by Barrister Zafarullah, requesting the court to convert the death sentences to life imprisonment and to deliberate the fate of prisoners according to the changes made in the Law Reforms Ordinance since 1972.
There are more death row prisoners in the country than in the world, with a reportedly more than 6,000 death row prisoners. (Sources: newspakistan.pk, 22/03/2016)