LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has welcomed the extention of the moratorium on capital punishment by the government and has called for a thorough review of the death penalty regime in the country.

In a statement made by HRCP representatives at a demonstration held on Friday with regard to the World Day against Death Penalty at Liberty Chowk, HRCP representatives said “HRCP welcomes the government’s commitment that it would persist with the moratorium on death penalty. This brings some respite for thousands of death row inmates — especially those whose execution was imminent — and their families.

It is encouraging that the government did not succumb, so far, to the pressure and acted not only in national interest but also did well by the norms of justice. HRCP is particularly happy to note that the government has cited the country’s international commitments, which cannot possibly exclude human rights, as the ground for the decision.

Although a good first step, the decision will have meaning only if we have a complete review of the death penalty regime in Pakistan. And the sooner the better, the HRCP representatives said.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2014

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