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EU demands reinstatement of death penalty moratorium in Pakistan

Updated June 11, 2015

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EU demands of government to reinstate the moratorium on death penalty and respect all of its international obligations. —AP/File
EU demands of government to reinstate the moratorium on death penalty and respect all of its international obligations. —AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) on Thursday expressed concern over increasing executions in Pakistan and demanded of the government to reinstate the moratorium on death penalty and fully respect all of its international obligations.

"Effective implementation of the international conventions is a requirement under the European Union's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Regulation," a statement issued by EU delegation mission to Pakistan said.

The EU spokesperson Catherine Ray recalled at least 150 people have been executed in Pakistan since December 2014, when the government lifted the moratorium on executions in place since 2008.

Know more: Death penalty moratorium lifted completely in Pakistan: Officials

Ray said that this represents a major step backwards in Pakistan's record on human rights.

EU also expressed concern over Aftab Bahadur's hanging and said his petition — alleging his juvenile status at the time of the crime and torture while in custody to extract a confession — was not given due consideration.

Read: 'Juvenile' Aftab Bahadur Masih executed in Lahore

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court dismissed the latest petition of Shafqat Hussain, a death-row convict who may have also have been a juvenile when the crime for which he was convicted was committed.

Take a look: Mystery shrouds last-minute reprieve for Shafqat Hussain

The spokesman said Pakistan's obligations under domestic and international law prohibit the death sentence for crimes committed by those under eighteen years of age and require prompt and impartial investigation where there is reasonable ground to believe that torture has been committed.

The spokesman said the EU is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and has consistently called for its universal abolition.

Take a look: Pakistan executes 150 in six months