Pakistan hangs seven prisoners for murder

Latest hangings bring total number killed since executions resumed in December to 160.

Relatives of Aftab Bahadur, who was convicted of murder at the age of 15, mourn beside his body [AFP]
Relatives of Aftab Bahadur, who was convicted of murder at the age of 15, mourn beside his body [AFP]

Pakistan reportedly hanged seven prisoners on Tuesday, bringing the total number put to death since executions resumed last December to 160, officials have said.

The executions took place in several cities in the central province of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sialkot and Bahawalpur, the AFP news agency reported.

All of those executed had been convicted of murder.

Al Jazeera understands that none of the men executed on Tuesday were minors when they were convicted.

On Monday, the Lahore High Court stayed the execution of a mentally ill man, Khizar Hayat, who was due to be hanged on Tuesday.

On Wednesday last week, the country executed a man who rights groups say was tortured into confessing to a murder when he was 15.

Aftab Bahadur, 37, was convicted over the murder of a woman and her two children in September 1992 and had been on death row for almost 23 years.

Rights activists say Aftab Bahadur was wrongly executed and had urged Pakistan to halt his execution just a day before his hanging [AFP]

Executions in Pakistan resumed in December, ending a six-year moratorium, after Taliban fighters gunned down 154 people, most of them children, at a school at Peshawar in the country’s northwest.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism offences, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.

The European Union, the United Nations and human rights campaigners have all urged Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium.

News agency AFP reported on Sunday that Pakistan planned to impose a one-month moratorium on executions for the month of Ramadan, which begins later this week.

Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted their appeals.

Source: AFP, Al Jazeera


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