EU urges Pakistan to reinstate moratorium on death penalty

March 18, 2015

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The European Union (EU) is exerting pressure on Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium on the death penalty in order to halt the execution of Shafqat Hussain ─ Reuters/File
The European Union (EU) is exerting pressure on Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium on the death penalty in order to halt the execution of Shafqat Hussain ─ Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: A spokesperson of the European Union (EU) said on Wednesday that the government of Pakistan should halt all executions as capital punishment violates international law and basic human rights.

The spokesperson referred to the death penalty as an unjust and cruel punishment and said capital punishment should be eliminated globally.

The government has executed 48 convicts since the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted following the horrific terrorist attacks on the Army Public School in Peshawar last year.

The condemnation of the death penalty by the EU comes at a time when the government is set to hang underage convict, Shafqat Hussain on Mar 19, 2015.

Read more: Court order for Shafqat's execution has shattered our hopes, says family

Hussain's case has triggered outrage from rights campaigners, who complain he did not get a fair trial and was only 15 at the time of the killing.

The EU is only one of many international organisations urging the government to halt executions of convicts all over the country. Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have also called for a stop to the hangings.

The EU had opposed the removal of the moratorium in December last year, and again expressed concerns during the First Pakistan-EU Local Human Rights Dialogue where the delegation met to discuss Pakistan’s GSP Plus status.