Death Penalty Worldwide

Pakistan

Last updated on April 4, 2011

General

Country

Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). [1]

Geographical Region

Asia (South-central Asia). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

In 2008, proposals subject to President Musharraf’s approval would have commuted death row prisoners’ sentences to life imprisonment. [4] However, the proposal apparently was not approved under Musharraf and has not been approved under the new President Asif Ali Zardari, and by the end of 2008 Pakistan had actually extended the death penalty to some cyber crimes. [5] 276 people were sentenced to death in 2009. [6]

Methods of Execution

Hanging. [7]
Although other methods of execution may be legally permissible, in practice, hanging is the only method of execution. [8]

Shooting.
The ordinances providing for stoning in the case of rape or adultery (as Hadd offenses) were legislatively demoted from overriding status in 2006; [9] in any case, stoning has never been officially utilized since its legislative introduction in 1990. [10]

Comments. [11]
Comments. [12]
Reports indicate that stoning is provided for by law for some offenses, and in 2002 the Supreme Court ruled that when an offense carries a religiously stipulated retributive punishment, the punishment ought to take place in the same manner as the crime. While this has resulted in outlandish sentences such as death by mutilation caused by incisions and acid (the individual so sentenced committed suicide rather than face the punishment), [13] in practice hangings are the only method of execution actually used for judicial executions. [14]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Pakistan, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3453.htm, Jul. 21, 2010.
[2] U.N. World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000..
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; Amnesty International, Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 2, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[4] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, , Pakistan: A Historical Breakthrough in the Fight Against the Death Penalty, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a5767.pdf, Jul. 7, 2008.
[5] Amnesty Intl., National Report 2009: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 254, POL/10/001/2009, May 28, 2009.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Report 2010: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 250, POL/10/001/2010, May 28, 2010.
[7] Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898; Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that rape and adultery laws permitting stoning have been amended to eliminate their overriding effect over secular law).
[8] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[9] Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that rape and adultery laws permitting stoning have been amended).
[10] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 16, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[11] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[12] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 300-314, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898.
[13] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[14] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.

Country Details

Language(s)

Urdu. [1]

Population

167,762,040. 167,762,040. [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

8058. 7,700 was the 2009 estimate. [3] In 2008, proposals subject to President Musharraf’s approval would have commuted death row prisoners’ sentences to life imprisonment. [4] However, the proposal apparently was not approved under Musharraf and has not been approved under the new President Asif Ali Zardari, and by the end of 2008 Pakistan had actually extended the death penalty to some cyber crimes. [5] 276 people were sentenced to death in 2009. [6] In 2010, there were 365 death sentences and no executions, [7] and at least seven death sentences were commuted or overturned. [8]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2014 to date (last updated on September 26, 2014)

0. [9]

Executions in 2013

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

1. Pakistan carried out its first execution in almost 4 years on November 15, 2012. Muhammad Hussain, a former soldier, was executed by hanging for fatally stabbing one of his superiors over a personal dispute. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

1 execution per 167,762,040 persons

Executions in 2011

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [13]

Executions in 2009

0. [14]

Executions in 2008

At least 36. [15]

Executions in 2007

At least 135. [16]

Year of Last Known Execution

2012. Pakistan carried out its first execution in almost 4 years on November 15, 2012. Muhammad Hussain, a former soldier, was executed by hanging for fatally stabbing one of his superiors over a personal dispute. [17]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Pakistan, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3453.htm, Jul. 21, 2010.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Pakistan, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3453.htm, Jul. 21, 2010.
[3] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 21, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[4] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, , Pakistan: A Historical Breakthrough in the Fight Against the Death Penalty, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a5767.pdf, Jul. 7, 2008.
[5] Amnesty Intl., National Report 2009: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 254, POL/10/001/2009, May 28, 2009.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Report 2010: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 250, POL/10/001/2010, May 28, 2010.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[8] Hands Off Cain, Pakistan: 2010, http://www.handsoffcain.info/bancadati/schedastato.php?idcontinente=23&nome=pakistan, last accessed Mar. 28, 2011.
[9] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[11] Alex Rodriguez, Human rights groups decry Pakistan's first execution in four years, L.A. Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-human-rights-groups-decry-pakistans-first-execution-in-four-years-20121116,0,481035.story, Nov. 16, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[14] Amnesty International, Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 2, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2007.
[17] Alex Rodriguez, Human rights groups decry Pakistan's first execution in four years, L.A. Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-human-rights-groups-decry-pakistans-first-execution-in-four-years-20121116,0,481035.story, Nov. 16, 2012.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder carries the religiously stipulated retributive penalty of harm in-kind. Article 302A addresses the typical sharia punishment for murder, where the defendant may be pardoned if the victim’s family desires. Under Article 302B of the penal code, a judge may still pass a sentence of death, taking into account aggravating and mitigating circumstances. This allows the a judge to pronounce a death sentence for aggravated murder even if the victim’s family agrees to pardon the offender. In practice, judges are unlikely to ignore a family’s agreement to forgive an offender. [1] By law, honor killings are to be treated as aggravated killings; [2] in practice, honor killings may be treated more leniently than murder. [3]

Murder.
Murder carries the religiously stipulated penalty of harm in-kind unless the victim’s family waives the penalty, usually for a payment of diyat. [4] In practice, hanging rather than harm in-kind is the punishment for murder. [5]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Sources indicate that courts, particularly in the Punjab, frequently convict defendants on murder charges despite the prosecution’s failure to show cause and intent. [6] Robbery by means of force against the victim, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty as hadd against participants in the robbery. [7] Robbery by means of force against the victim, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty as hadd against participants in the robbery. [8] Bearing false witness intending or knowing the accused may be convicted of a capital offense, if an innocent person is convicted and executed as a result, is punishable by death. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism includes: (a) acts to “strike terror or create a sense of fear and insecurity” by use of explosives, flammable substances, firearms or lethal weapons, poisons, noxious gasses or chemicals in a manner likely to cause death or injury to persons, destruction of property or widespread disruptions in essential services or security; (b) a scheduled offense likely to create terror or disrupt sectarian harmony; (c) commit gang rape, child molestation or robbery and rape; or (d) commit an act of civil commotion. If a terrorist act results in death, it is punished by death. [10] Cyber-terrorism (use of computers in aiding or committing a terrorist act) that results in death is punishable by death. [11]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Airplane hijacking, or assisting a hijacking, is punishable by death. [12] Attempting to harm railway passengers such as by explosion or derailment is punishable by death. [13]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
An assault on a woman and intentional display of her body in public view is punishable by death. [14] Rape by a man, especially a gang rape, is punishable by death. Abduction to submit another to unnatural lust, which may include homosexual sex, is punishable by death. [15] Statutory rape by a man of a girl under 16, especially a gang rape, is punishable by death. Abduction to submit another to unnatural lust, which may include abduction for rape of minors or for homosexual sex, is punishable by death. [16]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping to murder, harm, for slavery or sexual abuse or trafficking, or putting the victim in the danger of the foregoing, is punishable by death. [17] Kidnapping for ransom or extortion is punishable by death. [18]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Illegal trafficking of more than one kilogram of a drug is punishable by death. [19] In practice, a sentence of death is only rarely pronounced in cases involving less than 10 kilograms of drugs. [20]

Adultery.
Under the Hadd ordinances, extramarital sexual relations may carry a religiously stipulated death penalty if extreme evidentiary requirements are met. [21] Recent laws make it more difficult to investigate and prosecute the capital offense and favor prosecution under non-capital provisions of the penal law. [22]

Apostasy.
Apostasy (leaving Islam) is punishable by death under some interpretations of Shari’a law, and the Shari’a courts are theoretically in a position to apply the death penalty for apostasy, although in practice this does not occur in Pakistan. [23]

Treason.
Waging or abetting war against Pakistan is punishable by death. [24] High Treason under the High Treason Act of 1973 may be punishable by death. [25]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Abetting a successful mutiny is punishable by death. [26] Giving up military passwords or intentionally using unassigned military passwords, assisting the enemy, treachery, mutiny and cowardice are punishable by death. [27]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Arms Trafficking. Section 13A(1) of the Pakistan Arms Act as amended in 1996 makes illegal arms trafficking in certain military-class arms punishable by death. [28]
- Blasphemy. Defiling Mohammed’s name through written or spoken word, visual representation or other means carries a religiously stipulated death penalty. [29] Blasphemy laws apply against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. [30]

Comments.
Certain crimes, such as those involving armed robbery [31] and blasphemy [32] are tried in Shari’at (Islamic law) courts, which can allow double jeopardy when a defendant is tried for a secular and a religious offense on the same basic facts. [33]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. [34] Yes. [35] Yes. [36] Yes. [37]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Aggravated Murder.
Because murder carries the religiously stipulated retributive death penalty, courts may not exercise discretion in sentencing absent the consent of the victim’s family. [38] This constitutes a mandatory death penalty because the decision to exercise discretion does not reside with the courts.

Murder.
Because murder carries the religiously stipulated retributive death penalty, courts may not exercise discretion in sentencing absent the consent of the victim’s family. [39] This constitutes a mandatory death penalty because the decision to exercise discretion does not reside with the courts.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
A robbery through force, resulting in the death of the victim, carries the death penalty as hadd. [40]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism includes: (a) acts to “strike terror or create a sense of fear and insecurity” by use of explosives, flammable substances, firearms or lethal weapons, poisons, noxious gasses or chemicals in a manner likely to cause death or injury to persons, destruction of property or widespread disruptions in essential services or security; (b) a scheduled offense likely to create terror or disrupt sectarian harmony; (c) commit gang rape, child molestation or robbery and rape; or (d) commit an act of civil commotion. If a terrorist act results in death, it is punished by death. [41]

Adultery.
Under the Hadd ordinances, extramarital sexual relations may carry a religiously stipulated death penalty if extreme evidentiary requirements are met. [42] Recent laws make it more difficult to investigate and prosecute the capital offense and favor prosecution under non-capital provisions of the penal law. [43]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Blasphemy. Defiling Mohammed’s name through written or spoken word, visual representation or other means is punishable by death or other punishment under the written law. However, under a ruling by the Federal Shari’at Court, the religiously stipulated death penalty may be the only punishment for blasphemy. [44] Blasphemy laws can be and are applied to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. [45]

Comments.
Under the opinions and decisions of international treaty bodies, and customarily in courts around the world, the death penalty is mandatory unless the court has independent discretion not to apply it based on consideration of the factors and circumstances of the offense and offender. It should be noted that almost half of murder cases in Pakistan are determined by settlements between families; [46] this incorporates some discretion and other factors into sentencing. In fact, families sometimes forgive an offender without necessarily receiving any payment (this is sometimes known as sulah, which also describes a traditional reconciliation process that can but need not involve payment), and the Shari’a response to the offense of murder can be described as a sort of restorative justice. [47] The critique that the penalty is mandatory rests on a belief that courts are the best instruments for assuring that the death penalty is not applied for reasons that are extraneous to the crime and the offender’s blameworthiness. For instance, if the application of the death penalty is well explained by the economic status of the defendant, application of the death penalty is arbitrary by practical, not merely theoretical, standards. Most if not all death row inmates in Pakistan are “extremely poor and helpless.” [48] Poor individuals are disadvantaged at obtaining representation, and again at paying compensation.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Aggravated Murder. [49]

Murder. [50]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death. [51]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death. [52]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Individuals cannot legally be executed for crimes committed while under the age of 18. [53] However, there have been challenges as to whether the exclusion is constitutional, the status of the exclusion may be in jeopardy, [54] and juvenile offenders continue to be sentenced to death. [55]

Pregnant Women.
Pregnant women subject to the death penalty have their executions postponed, and the High Court may commute their sentences to life imprisonment. [56]

Mentally Retarded.
Article 341 of the Criminal Procedure code suggests that individuals who, while sane, cannot understand the proceedings against them may enjoy some additional protections against the death penalty; however, the death penalty for such individuals is still permitted. [57]

Mentally Ill.
Article 306 of the Penal Code and an interview with an experienced Pakistani lawyer indicate that mental health may influence whether a person can be executed for a crime. [58]

Comments.
Traditional Shari’a principles would also prohibit the execution of women with nursing children. [59]

References

[1] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010; Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, sec. 302, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006.
[2] Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006.
[3] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 54, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[4] Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure Act of 1898, sec. 368(1), as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997.
[5] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[6] Kamran Arif, Interview, p. 1, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[7] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 396, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[8] Pakistan Offenses Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, secs. 15, 17(4),Act No. 6, Feb. 10, 1979; Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that, while the Penal Code does not reflect this penalty, the ordinance may still be in effect).
[9] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 194, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[10] Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, sec. 6, 7, amended by Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance of 1999.
[11] Pakistan Prevention of Electronic Crimes, Section 17(2), 2007.
[12] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 402, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[13] Pakistan Railways Act, as amended through 1996, sec. 127, Act No. 9, 1890.
[14] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 354, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[15] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 367(A), 375, 376, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[16] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 367(A), 375, 376, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[17] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 364, 367, 367(A), Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[18] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 365, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[19] Pakistan Control of Narcotic Substances Act, secs. 6- 9, Act No. 25, Jul. 7, 1997.
[20] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[21] Pakistan The Offense of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, as amended by the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, sec. 5
[22] Pakistan Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment Act), generally, 2006.
[23] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[24] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 121, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860..
[25] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 23, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007..
[26] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 132, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[27] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 22-24, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007 (citing the Pakistan Army Act, sec. 24, 26, 31, 1952).
[28] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 22, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007..
[29] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 295, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[30] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[31] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[32] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 53, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[33] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[34] Pakistan Offenses Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, secs. 15, 17(4),Act No. 6, Feb. 10, 1979; Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that, while the Penal Code does not reflect this penalty, the ordinance may still be in effect).
[35] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860 Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898.
[36] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 295, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[37] Pakistan The Offense of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, as amended by the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, sec. 5
[38] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898.
[39] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898.
[40] Pakistan Offenses Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, secs. 15, 17(4),Act No. 6, Feb. 10, 1979; Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that, while the Penal Code does not reflect this penalty, the ordinance may still be in effect).
[41] Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, sec. 6, 7, amended by Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance of 1999.
[42] Pakistan The Offense of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, as amended by the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, sec. 5
[43] Pakistan Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment Act), generally, 2006.
[44] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 295, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[45] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[46] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 63, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[47] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[48] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[49] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, Dec. 31, 2008.
[50] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2008: Death Penalty http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, Dec. 31, 2008.
[51] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, Dec. 31, 2008.
[52] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, Dec. 31, 2008.
[53] Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, secs. 2(b), 12(a), No. 22 of 2000.
[54] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 38, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[55] U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations: Pakistan, para. 99, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[56] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 314(3), Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 382, Jul. 1, 1898.
[57] Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 341, Jul. 1, 1898.
[58] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 306, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Kamran Arif, Interview, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[59] Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, p. 56, Intl. Law Inst., 1997.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Jun. 23, 2010.

Pakistan made reservations to articles 3, 6, 7, 18 and 19, stating that the articles would apply to the extent they are not repugnant to the Constitution or Shari’a law. [2]

Signed?

Yes. [3]

Date of Signature

April 17, 2008. [4]

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [5]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [9]

Vote

Against. [10]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [11]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [12]

Vote

Against. [13]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [14]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [15]

Vote

Against. [16]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [17]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [18]

Vote

Against. [19]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [20]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[9] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[10] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[11] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[12] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[13] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[14] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[15] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[16] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[17] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[18] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, pp. 3-4, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[19] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[20] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

Pakistan’s Constitution prohibits deprivation of life except in accordance with law, implying the death penalty may be constitutional. [1] Pakistan’s Constitution also exempts military law and laws for the discipline of police and security forces from constitutional provisions protecting the individual’s right to life. [2] Article 185 specifically addresses appeals to the Supreme Court in cases involving a death sentence. Under Article 227 of the Constitution, Islamic law impacts the rights of Muslims in Pakistan, and under Article 203, the Federal Shari’at Court can determine the applicability of Islamic law in certain death-eligible cases. [3] Reports indicate that the Supreme Court and Federal Shari’at Court have applied Islamic law to limit death-eligible defendants’ rights and protections under the Constitution. [4] “In the case of one British national whose conviction for murder was quashed by the Supreme Court, the FSC took up the case and found him to be guilty.” [5]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

The Preamble of the Constitution appeals to international peace and the happiness of humankind; [6] however, Pakistan’s Constitution excepts non-Muslims and the U.S. and Europe in some articles discussing international policy. [7]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Under significant international and domestic pressure to end executions in Pakistan, [8] application of the death penalty ceased by 2009. [9] The number of death sentences awarded may have somewhat decreased over the past few years. [10]

Important legislation that seeks to protect women’s rights may have an impact on the death penalty. The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006 eliminated the mandatory death penalty for gang rape on the premise that courts were not convicting individuals of gang rape solely due to an unwillingness to have the rapists executed. The same law also seriously limits the death-eligible offense of Zina (which seems to be broadly applied to sex outside of marriage) and requires that a court, not prosecution, determine whether investigation and charges should be pursued. The law furthermore seeks to eliminate the procedural dynamic whereby women who accused men of rape could, if they failed to prove their case, face serious charges themselves. [11] These changes in the law may have the effect of reducing capital prosecutions for sexual offenses.

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

Until recently, there was an unofficial moratorium on executions in Pakistan, with expansion in legal provisions triggering the death penalty accompanied by some political movement to eliminate the death penalty. [12] However, Pakistan carried out its first execution in almost 4 years on November 15, 2012. Muhammad Hussain, a former soldier, was executed by hanging for fatally stabbing one of his superiors over a personal dispute. [13]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

One significant line of cases involves the death penalty for blasphemy. According to this line of jurisprudence, beginning with the Shari’at court, Islamic law stipulates the death penalty for blasphemy and—despite the Constitution—clemency is not permitted. [14] This remains the case despite current appeals and the fact that the Constitution does not provide that the Federal Shari’at Court has jurisdiction to determine Constitutional questions. [15] Reports indicate that the Federal Shari’at Court has issued jurisprudence indicating that, given Islamic law, clemency by the executive is not possible for religiously stipulated offenses—both retributive sentences for murder and non-retributive sentences such as for blasphemy.

The Supreme Court has more recently held that the power of clemency should be unfettered. [16] Experts report that, in addition to the clemency a family can extend, the President can grant clemency in murder cases. In blasphemy cases, acquittals are possible on the basis of an apology. [17] Recent news suggests a continued expectation that the executive can and will grant pardons for blasphemy offenses. [18]

Finally, a ruling by the Lahore High Court, temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court while the ruling is on appeal, could strike down the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance of 2000. [19] At jeopardy is the exclusion of juveniles from the death penalty—without the JJSO, juveniles below the age of 18 at the time of the offense could legally be sentenced to death, as had previously been the case in Pakistan. [20]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

The following page maintains links to a number of searchable Pakistani court sites, but courts list few judgments and relevant judgments may not be available: http://www.commonlii.org/resources/245.html. The Supreme Court makes a few of its decisions available at http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/page.asp?id=103, and a special section on “important human rights cases” available at http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/page.asp?id=429. Although that website may not make decisions limiting the death penalty available, it does offer cases on police partisanship in death eligible cases, torture, and other relevant issues. Death penalty-relevant decisions may be relevant at http://www.pakistanlawsite.com/index.asp, a pay-site that may post all cases reported in one of Pakistan’s major law reporters, Pakistan Legal Decisions.

Superior court decisions are published by Pakistan Legal Decisions, available in hard copy at:

All Pakistan Legal Decisions
35-Nabha Road, Lahore
Phone: +9242-7356228
Fax: +9242-7238113
Email: PLD@brain.net.pk

Other potential means of legal research, including law reporters such as Pakistan from which hard copies may be available for order, are listed at http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Pakistan.htm#_Legal_Research.

An apparently newly developing website, http://www.lawandlawyers.com.pk/, may provide information—including judicial decisions—related to international law and human rights.

What is the clemency process?

Despite constitutional provisions suggesting that Shari’at rulings cannot limit the Constitution using Islamic law and Supreme Court rulings indicating that inferior law cannot limit powers expressly granted by the Constitution, the status of clemency in cases involving religiously stipulated punishments has reportedly been contested by the Federal Shari’at Court. [21] Despite constitutional provisions suggesting that Shari’at rulings cannot limit the Constitution using Islamic law and Supreme Court rulings indicating that inferior law cannot limit powers expressly granted by the Constitution, the status of clemency in cases involving religiously stipulated punishments has reportedly been contested by the Federal Shari’at Court. [22] Experts state that the President retains full clemency powers, [23] and that position tends to be confirmed by the public expectation that the President retains the power to pardon even for offenses such as blasphemy. [24]

The President has full constitutional power to pardon, commute or stay a sentence of any tribunal or authority. [25] Under the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code the President or a Provincial Government may commute a sentence of death. [26] The offender’s permission is not required, [27] but it is apparent that an offender or interested party can submit a plea for clemency. [28]

In addition to the President’s power, the family members of murder victims can choose to pardon the offender through a reconciliation process that can, but need not, involve payment of a settlement. [29]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No. [30]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Capital cases may be tried before a variety of courts, including Special Courts for offenses such as drug trafficking or terrorist offenses. [31] Normally, a capital sentence must be approved by the High Court. [32] Defendants may appeal from the High Court to the Supreme Court primarily if the Supreme Court approves the appeal to address questions of fact or law, the High Court certifies the existence of a substantial constitutional question, or if the High Court has reversed an acquittal or enhanced a sentence to capital punishment. [33] For cases falling under Hudood, appeal from the sentencing court may be to the Federal Shari’at Court (which functions like a High Court) unless a High Court has already determined the appeal in question. In the past, the Federal Shari’at Court has nevertheless adjudicated facts on which a High Court overturned a tazir’at (secular or discretionary) conviction when those facts were re-argued in support of a Hudood (Sunna-defined) offense. We do not know whether this practice is still allowed, but an expert we consulted believes this is still the case. [34] Ultimately, decisions of the Federal Shari’at Court are appealed to the Shari’at bench of the Supreme Court, but (as of a 2005 ruling) the Supreme Court may elect to remove a case from the Federal Shari’at Court and hear the appeal before its full bench. This ruling may permit the full Supreme Court to rein in Sharia’at Court and bench rulings that have undermined defendants’ constitutional protections. [35] Ultimately, decisions of the Federal Shari’at Court are appealed to the Shari’at bench of the Supreme Court, but (as of a 2005 ruling) the Supreme Court may elect to remove a case from the Federal Shari’at Court and hear the appeal before its full bench. This ruling may permit the full Supreme Court to rein in Sharia’at Court and bench rulings that have undermined defendants’ constitutional protections. [36] Ultimately, decisions of the Federal Shari’at Court are appealed to the Shari’at bench of the Supreme Court, but (as of a 2005 ruling) the Supreme Court may elect to remove a case from the Federal Shari’at Court and hear the appeal before its full bench. This ruling may permit the full Supreme Court to rein in Sharia’at Court and bench rulings that have undermined defendants’ constitutional protections. [37]

References

[1] The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, arts. 4(2), 9, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008..
[2] The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, art. 8(3), Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008..
[3] The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, arts. 185, 203, 227, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008.
[4] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[5] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[6] Preamble to The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008..
[7] The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, art. 40, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008.
[8] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Pakistan: A Historical Breakthrough in the Fight Against the Death Penalty, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a5767.pdf, Jul. 7, 2008; The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, website at http://www.hrcp-web.org/default.asp (a domestic NGO involved in death penalty opposition).
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2007; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; Amnesty International, Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 2, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010..
[10] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2004-2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, last accessed May 10, 2010.
[11] Pakistan Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment Act), generally, 2006.
[12] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Pakistan: A Historical Breakthrough in the Fight Against the Death Penalty, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a5767.pdf, Jul. 7, 2008; Amnesty Intl., National Report 2009: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 254, POL/10/001/2009, May 28, 2009; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 88, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[13] Alex Rodriguez, Human rights groups decry Pakistan's first execution in four years, L.A. Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-human-rights-groups-decry-pakistans-first-execution-in-four-years-20121116,0,481035.story, Nov. 16, 2012.
[14] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, 128, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[15] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[16] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[17] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[18] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[19] U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations, para. 99, Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[20] U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations, para. 99, Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[21] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[22] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, 128, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010; ; Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 54, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[23] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[24] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[25] The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, art. 45, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008.
[26] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 54, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 402, Jul. 1, 1898.
[27] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 54, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 402, Jul. 1, 1898.
[28] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[29] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[30] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[31] Pakistan Control of Narcotic Substances Act, sec. 41, Act No. 25, Jul. 7, 1997.; Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act, sec. 12, 1997; Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 338, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[32] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 338, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 31(2), Jul. 1, 1898.
[33] Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 411(A), Jul. 1, 1898; The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, arts. 185, 203, Apr. 12, 1973, translation compiled by Zartash Uzmi and Shehzaad Nakhoda, 2008.
[34] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[35] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[36] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, 54-55, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[37] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Reports compiled in or before 2006 indicate that death sentenced prisoners are held in a variety of prisons as follows: [1]

Punjab: Reports indicate that condemned prisoners are incarcerated at the majority of prisons in Punjab. In fact, approximately 80% of death row prisoners are held in the province of Punjab. [2] As of October 2006, the following Punjab prisons housed death-sentenced prisoners:
Central Jail, Faisalabad
Central Jail, Multan
Central Jail, Sahiwal
Central Jail, Gujranwala
Central Jail, Lahore
Central Jail, Rawalpindi
District Jail, Sialkot
Central Jail, Bahawalpur
District Jail, Jhang
District Jail, Sheikhupura
District Jail, Sargodha
District Jail, Kasur
Central Jail, D.G. Khan
District Jail, Gujrat
District Jail, Attock
District Jail, Shahpur
District Jail, M.B. Din
District Jail, Jhelum
District Jail, Multan
District Jail, R.Y. Khan
Women’s Jail, Multan
District Jail, Faisalabad
District Jail, Lahore
District Jail, Bahawaln agarh

NWFP: As of 2004, condemned prisoners were housed at the following prisons:
Central Jail, Haripur
Central Jail, Peshawar
District Jail, Kohat
District Jail, Abbottabad
District Jail, Timergara
District Jail, Bannu
Central Jail, D.I. Khan

Balochistan: As of March 2006, all condemned are held in Mach Central Jail.

Sindh: As of 2003, condemned prisoners were housed at the following prisons:
Special Prison for Women, Karachi
Central Prison, Karachi
Sukkur Prison
Hyderabad Prison

Description of Prison Conditions

“The norm is for 7 prisoners to be confined in one ‘death cell,’” which contains the prisoners’ toilet. In some cells, inmates must take turns sleeping for want of space to lie down. Families are allowed to bring food for loved ones, but prison officials often withhold food intended for prisoners, and prisoners are given watered-down rations. Prison doctors are incompetent and uninterested state employees, and prisoners are given severely substandard care. “Mentally ill prisoners are often kept together in one cell. In one jail in Punjab, there are forty of them and they all have one arm chained to the wall. Only one hand is free. They are kept like this all day.” In some prisons, “the gallows can be seen by the prisoners from their death cells.” [3]

Some death-sentenced prisoners are kept in solitary confinement. Sometimes this is for the protection of the prisoner—blasphemy convicts have been attacked by religious inmates, so officials segregate persons detained for blasphemy. Authorities may also segregate persons who are affiliated with terrorist or radical religious organizations. Wealthy people are able to procure more desirable conditions of confinement, but most if not all death row inmates are “extremely poor and helpless.” [4]

Some officials abuse persons in custody—including abuse for non-payment of bribes, and non-Muslims may be treated poorly by officials, committed to inferior facilities and face a serious risk of abuse at the hands of fellow inmates. [5] Juveniles condemned to death may be held in the adult population despite Pakistan’s laws prohibiting the practice, and may be sexually abused by the adults they are confined alongside. [6] Female death row prisoners are generally kept separate from male death row prisoners, [7] but female prisoners may be subject to abuse including custodial rape. [8] Female prisoners may have their children living with them. [9]

Condemned prisoners are not permitted to work, can walk outside for only about an hour a day, are subjected to lengthy periods of shackling—a practice the UN has concluded is torture, [10] may be excluded from social or recreational activities, and have severely restricted visitation rights. A condemned prisoner may face impending death while under these conditions for more than 10 years. [11]

While a recent Federal Shari’at Court ruling prohibits holding capital convicts in death cells until their appeals have been determined, [12] this ruling will not change the general conditions that capital convicts face. [13]

For a few days prior to execution, a condemned prisoner is kept in solitary confinement except for a few hours the day before execution, when the prisoner is permitted to visit with family. The condemned is hung at dawn. [14]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

The majority of foreigners in Pakistani jails are detained for border violations. Forty-four foreign prisoners—including Germans, Turks and Swedes—are held on terrorism charges, which could involve a death sentence. [15] Sources indicate that at least one Indian and likely nationals of other neighboring states are held under sentence of death in Pakistan. [16] Afghanis involved in terrorism in and around Pakistan have been sentenced to death, and other nationalities may be represented on death row due to terrorism in and around Pakistan. [17] An expert we consulted is aware of a Norwegian in Punjab, a British national in Sindh, and some foreign African women of unknown nationality on death row in various locations. [18]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

Indians and nationals of other neighboring states are held under sentence of death in Pakistan. [19] Afghanis and other nationals involved in terrorism in and around Pakistan may be under sentence of death, [20] and Germans, Turks and Swedes face terrorism charges or death sentences. [21] An expert we consulted is aware of a Norwegian in Punjab, a British national in Sindh, and some foreign African women of unknown nationality on death row in various locations. [22]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

Sources indicate that approximately 51-65 women are under sentence of death in Pakistan. [23] An expert we consulted is aware of an unspecified number of African women on death row for drug trafficking. [24]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

In 2006, Pakistan executed a juvenile offender despite Pakistan’s legal prohibition against such executions. Because only a about a third of births in Pakistan are registered, it is likely that juveniles continue to be sentenced to death in Pakistan, [25] and not all jurisdictions in Pakistan are in compliance with the law that prohibits sentences of death on offenders under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. [26]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

In 2010, an experienced Pakistani defense lawyer and member of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission indicated that the vast majority of individuals on death row are from the Punjab, where courts are especially harsh in sentencing, to the point of pronouncing death sentences even when the prosecution cannot prove that a defendant intended or caused a death. Also, the practice of allowing out-of-court settlements between the victim’s kin and the offender for diyat (blood money) leads to economic disparities in capital sentencing, as poor families are more likely to accept a payment of diyat. [27] Reports indicate that a low proportion of minority religion individuals have been sentenced to death in Pakistan in recent years. [28] An expert we consulted indicated that careful study would probably indicate that Ahmedis and Christians are disproportionately condemned to death for blasphemy. [29] A New York Times article on the case of Asia Bibi corroborates this suspicion, indicating that she may have been arbitrarily sentenced to death at the whim of a mob retaliating against her for being Christian. The article discusses findings of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that Ahmadi and Christian individuals are disproportionately at risk of malicious prosecutions for blasphemy. Most of the approximately 20 individuals sentenced to death for blasphemy are Christians. [30]

Recent submissions to the Human Rights Council also indicate serious discrimination against religious minorities, including discriminatory use of accusations of blasphemy. [31] The UN Human Rights Council has adopted the position that the death penalty for blasphemy is disproportionate and works to the detriment of religious minorities. [32] Attorneys who defend individuals accused of blasphemy face death threats and physical assault. [33]

The Pakistan Human Rights Commission indicates that those acquitted of blasphemy charges face a serious threat of violence at the hands of their accusers. Recently, a man acquitted of desecrating the Koran (a blasphemy offense) was murdered shortly after his release. The officer charged with investigating this murder stated “no Muslim tolerates a man who commits blasphemous acts.” [34] This is the environment in which religious minorities are accused of and investigated and prosecuted for blasphemy.

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Yes. [35]

A recent ordinance may expand availability of experienced public defenders for indigent defendants. [36] In practice, the right to counsel for indigents is limited. State-appointed lawyers are paid less than 50 USD for the entire trial, with small increases before higher courts. Experienced attorneys able to attract other work do not take these cases. [37]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Yes. [38]

A recent ordinance may expand availability of experienced public defenders for indigent defendants. [39] In practice, the right to counsel on appeal is limited. State-appointed lawyers may receive approximately 50 USD for cases before the High Court or Supreme Court, and experienced attorneys able to attract other work do not take these cases. [40]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

Recent reports have seriously questioned the quality of legal representation, indicating that there are poor controls on attorney quality. [41] An experienced Pakistani defense attorney and member of the Human Rights Commission has commented that lawyers typically do no investigation prior to trial, are not involved during the prosecution’s pre-trial investigation, may be restricted from calling defense witnesses due to the requirement that any defense witness have a statement immediately recorded with investigators (despite the fact that defense attorneys are typically not involved during investigation), and psychological examinations are often not introduced during sentencing. Even experienced attorneys may be unable to render a quality defense due to the practice of bringing in an attorney only after a case goes to court. These conditions impact most severely on indigent defendants, as wealthy defendants are likely to procure an attorney earlier in the investigation and other proceedings. [42] Another expert confirms that the norm is for lawyers not to meet their clients and to keep as far away from police stations as possible. An underpaid court-appointed attorney may seek bribes from a client’s already poor family. [43] The situation may improve for indigent defendants due to new provisions for public defenders and a high bar regarding required experience before courts. [44] However, “there is such a backlog of cases that this change will take a while to come into being.” And, at some reputable firms it is still typical for attorneys to review a defendant’s case file only the night before his appeal is to be heard in the High Court. [45]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Reports indicate that, because Pakistan’s secular and Shari’at systems run in parallel, capital defendants may experience double-jeopardy if a crime can be characterized as falling under Islamic law, [46] as an expert we consulted confirmed happened to Mirza Tahir Hussain in the early 2000s. [47] A 2005 Supreme Court ruling that allows the Supreme Court to remove an appeal from the Federal Shari’at Court and hear it before the full bench of the Supreme Court may limit the ability of the Federal Shari’at Court and the Shari’at bench of the Supreme Court to undermine defendant’s constitutional protections. Legislative measures seek to eliminate double jeopardy (due to parallel secular and religious courts) and similar risks that women face when accused of adultery or when accusing men of rape. [48]

Lengthy pre-trial detention is a serious problem, with approximately 55 percent of the prison population accounted for by pre-trial detainees. [49] Detainees experience severe conditions, and abuse and torture are serious problems, [50] which may undermine defendants’ effectiveness in giving defenses. While courts do not allow defendant statements given to police (to reduce the state’s motive to torture to obtain confessions), police are free to introduce other evidence obtained by torture, and may fake the minimal forensic evidence that they actually generate for the prosecution. Trial outcomes typically depend on witnesses, who face jail time if they change their testimony. Defense lawyers are typically not involved during the investigation, and have difficulty presenting defense witnesses due to a rule apparently requiring that defense witnesses deliver a statement to the investigators during the investigatory stage. Psychological evidence of mental state is disused. Defense attorneys are sometimes procured only after a case has gone to trial, further inhibiting the ability of a defendant to offer a competent defense. [51]

In practice, capital punishment is not limited by prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, and—although such a sentence has not been carried out—capital punishment may be calculated to cause extreme suffering. [52]

In practice, capital punishment is not limited by prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, and—although such a sentence has not been carried out—capital punishment may be calculated to cause extreme suffering. [53]

References

[1] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 27-30, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[2] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[3] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[4] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Juvenile Injustice in Pakistan: Child Offenders Facing Execution in Violation of National and International Law, p. 4, ACT/30/019/2005, Aug. 31, 2005.
[7] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 27-30, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[8] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[9] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[10] U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Visit by the Special Rapporteur to Pakistan, p. 14-17, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1997/7/Add.2, Oct. 15, 1996 (describing the practice of shackling and defining it as torture).
[11] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 55-56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007 (indicating that the practice of shackling may continue today and discussing other detention conditions and practices)..
[12] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 104, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[13] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010. ; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 55, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[14] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 57, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[15] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 102-103, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[16] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, updated May 7, 2010.
[17] South Asia Terrorism Portal, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Terrorist Group of Pakistan, http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/lej.htm, updated Jul. 5, 2010.
[18] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[19] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, updated May 7, 2010.
[20] South Asia Terrorism Portal, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Terrorist Group of Pakistan, http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/lej.htm, updated Jul. 5, 2010.
[21] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 102-103, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[22] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[23] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 27-30, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2004-2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, last accessed May 10, 2010.
[24] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[25] Human Rights Watch, UN: Five Countries Responsible for All Executions of Juvenile Offenders Since 2005, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/09/11/un-five-countries-responsible-all-executions-juvenile-offenders-2005, Sept. 10, 2008,; U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations: Pakistan, paras. 99, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[26] U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations: Pakistan, paras. 99, 100, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[27] Kamran Arif, Interview, p. 1, 3, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[28] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Current Statistics, 2004-2008: Death Penalty, http://www.hrcp-web.org/currentstat.html, last accessed May 10, 2010.
[29] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[30] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[31] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Coucil, Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, p. 3-5, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/57, Feb. 23, 2010.
[32] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(B) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 23, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/2, Apr. 14, 2008.
[33] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(C) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 26, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/3, Apr. 3, 2008.
[34] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[35] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 54-55, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007
[36] Pakistan Public Defender and Legal Aid Office Ordinance, Act No. 5, Feb. 27, 2009.
[37] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[38] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 54-55, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007
[39] Pakistan Public Defender and Legal Aid Office Ordinance, Act No. 5, Feb. 27, 2009.
[40] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[41] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 54-55, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[42] Kamran Arif, Interview, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[43] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[44] Pakistan Public Defender and Legal Aid Office Ordinance, Act No. 5, Feb. 27, 2009.
[45] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[46] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[47] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[48] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 32, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007; U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Pakistan Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment Act), generally, 2006.
[49] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[50] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Pakistan, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/sca/136092.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.; U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Visit by the Special Rapporteur to Pakistan, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1997/7/Add.2 (1996)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur) Section A, available at http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/commission/thematic53/97TORPAK.htm.
[51] Kamran Arif, Interview, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[52] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[53] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860 Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997, sec. 368(1), Jul. 1, 1898.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

On June 23, 2010, the Secretary General registered Pakistan’s accession to the ICCPR. [1] Pakistan had ratified the treaty in May 2010 with reservations to articles that affect the rights of those facing capital charges. [2] No concluding observations are available yet.

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

Recent submissions to the Human Rights Council indicate serious discrimination against religious minorities, including discriminatory use of accusations of blasphemy, which carry the death penalty. [3] The UN Human Rights Council has adopted the position that the death penalty for blasphemy is disproportionate and works to the detriment of religious minorities. [4] Attorneys who defend individuals accused of blasphemy face death threats and physical assault. [5]

Submissions to the HRC also indicate that torture is a serious problem and may undermine the legitimacy of convictions in Pakistan. [6]

Submissions to the HRC also indicate that torture is a serious problem and may undermine the legitimacy of convictions in Pakistan. [7] Detainees also die in custody due to torture and general abuse. [8]

Finally, death sentences imposed on and executions of minors remain a problem. [9]

Finally, death sentences imposed on and executions of minors remain a problem. [10]

Pursuant to its 2008 Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Pakistan, the Human Rights Council enumerated no recommendations regarding the death penalty; however, throughout the Council’s final report, member nations expressed serious concern about the application of the death penalty in Pakistan, referencing its use to punish blasphemy, religious violations such as all non-marital consensual sex, and for a wide range of offenses despite the problem of unfair trials. Nation-members called for Pakistan to implement its proposed moratorium on the death penalty and abolish the death penalty. [11]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
[2] Jane Perlez, Asia Bibi Seeks Pardon in Blasphemy Case, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html, Nov. 22, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Coucil, Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, p. 3-5, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/57, Feb. 23, 2010.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(B) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 23, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/2, Apr. 14, 2008.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(C) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 26, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/3, Apr. 3, 2008.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Coucil, Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/57, Feb. 23, 2010.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(B) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 13, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/2, Apr. 14, 2008.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(B) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 13, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/2, Apr. 14, 2008.
[9] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15(B) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, para. 10, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/PAK/2, Apr. 14, 2008.
[10] U.N. CRC, Concluding Observations, paras. 99, 100, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Oct. 15, 2009.
[11] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Concluding Observations: Pakistan, generally, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/42, Jun. 4, 2008.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Mr. Kamran Arif
Aiwan – I – Jamhoor, 107 – Tipu Block, Garden Town
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92 42 58 38 341, +92 42 58 64 994
Fax: +92 42 58 83 582
kamranarif.advocate@gmail.com
http://www.hrcp-web.org/default.asp

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Justice Project Pakistan
Tel +92 (0)42 3571 4311
info@jpp.org.pk
www.jpp.org.pk

Reprieve
PO Box 72054
London EC3P 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel 020 7553 8140
Fax 020 7553 8189
info@reprieve.org.uk
http://www.reprieve.org.uk

Helpful Reports and Publications

Annual reports beginning in 2004 and yearly statistical breakdowns by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (an NGO) are available at http://www.hrcp-web.org/default.asp.

Amnesty Intl., Pakistan: Death Penalty Action, ASA 33/045/2006, Nov. 1, 2006.

International Federation for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, Jan. 2007, available at http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf.

Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Pakistan: A Long March for Democracy and the Rule of Law 2007-2008, N°514a, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan514ang2008.pdf, Jan. 2009.

Additional notes regarding this country

As extensively annotated in the 2009 Human Rights Report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a number of very recent laws that could not be located as of May 11, 2010 may soon significantly alter law and practice relevant to the death penalty in Pakistan. [1]

References

[1] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 18-26, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.

Search Tips   |    Research Methodology   |    Glossary   |    Search