World Pakistan executes first person since lifting death penalty

Pakistan executes first person since lifting death penalty


Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan

(AA) – A man convicted of a triple murder became the first person executed after Pakistan completely ended a moratorium on the death penalty, on Thursday. 

The death penalty had been partially re-introduced in December for militants convicted of terrorism but Pakistani provinces were recently officially notified about the penalty being reintroduced for other crimes, including murder, rape and kidnap. 

Mohammad Siddique, a security guard in his early 50s, had killed three members of an audience for heckling a stage dancer at the theatre he worked at in the northeastern city of Faisalabad in 2005.

Siddique was hung at the Toba Tekh Singh jail in northeastern Pakistan. 

The move to lift the ban on the death penalty — which was initially imposed in exchanged for trade incentives from the EU — paved the way for the executions of more than 8,000 convicts across Pakistan. 

Pakistan had partially rescinded the de-facto ban in December, executing more than 20 militants after the Taliban killed more than 100 children at a school in the city of Peshawar. 

Human rights groups and the EU have condemned the lifting of ban on capital punishment, saying it would not add to government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism.

“The government should treat the death penalty for what it is: a cruel and irrevocable punishment rather than a policy solution to complex crime and security problems,” said Phelim Kine, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, in a statement released Thursday. 

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