Pakistan executed 326 people in 2015

Islamabad, April 6 (IANS) Pakistan carried out 326 executions in 2015, the highest ever recorded in the country, Amnesty International reported.

Amnesty International organisation said at least 1,634 people were executed globally last year — up from 1,061 in 2014 (54 percent), and Pakistan ranked third in executions, Dawn online reported.

The figure does not include executions in China where data on the death penalty is considered a state secret.

Pakistan followed Saudi Arabia and Iran in global executions, and together the three countries were responsible for nearly 90 percent of total executions, the report said.

According to the report, the number of executions recorded in Saudi Arabia increased by 76 percent to 158, while those in Iran rose 31 percent to 977.

Amnesty said it received information that both Iran and Pakistan in 2015 executed people who were under the age of 18 when the crimes were committed, and it said juveniles face the death sentence in several other countries.

Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s director of South Asia Regional Office, said: “Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number three spot for recorded state executions in the world — a shameful position no one should aspire to. Only to be beaten by Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Patel said Pakistan executed 326 people last year. Most of those executed were not convicted of terror-related offences, and there is evidence that at least two and possibly more of them were juveniles when they committed their alleged crimes.

“The death penalty is always a rights violation, but its use in Pakistan is all the more troubling, given the serious fair trial concerns — including insufficient access to lawyers and endemic police torture to extract confessions,” said Patel.

In the US, 28 people were executed in 2015, nearly half in Texas, the most active death penalty state, which put 13 people to death, the report said.

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