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» 07/04/2008
PAKISTAN
Pakistan bans the death penalty
by Qaiser Felix
The bill launched by the premier to commemorate Benazir Bhutto was ratified by the government and now awaits President Musharraf’s signature. Welcomed by human rights groups, who are demanding improved rehabilitation programmes for prisoners.

Karachi (AsiaNews) – An end to the death penalty in Pakistan: the historic decision, approved by parliament and launched by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, now awaits the signature of President Musharraf before becoming law, but the act should be pure formality.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman announced Parliaments turning over a new leaf yesterday: a ban on capital punishment, and all death row sentences commuted to life in prison.  It is a personal success story for the premier who had pusher for the reform to honour the anniversary of the birth of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan’s People’s Party assassinated December 27th last.

"We welcome the decision made by the government of Pakistan”, said Nadeem Anthony of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, adding that "there is still more to be done particularly in the field of prisoner rehabilitation, so that they may one day be reintegrated into society”.

According to Nadeem the number of “sentences” and “executions” in Pakistan is among “the highest in the world: according to HRCP study at the moment in Pakistan there are 7,500 prisoners are on death row, including a few women ". It must also be underlined that “the imposition of capital punishment has not contributed to reduce the crime rate”, that human rights are “fundamental norms” and the death penalty is a “misconception of justice and denial of fundamental right to life”.

Currently it is still not clear if the criminals to benefit from the norm will include those accused of drug trafficking, terrorism or espionage.  Islamists are strongly opposed to the move and see the commuting of the sentence as being opposed to the Koran: the Catholic Church for its part is fully behind the initiative, having long defined the death penalty as “inhuman” particularly because it denies the possibility of repentance and forgiveness.

 

 

 


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See also
06/26/2008 PAKISTAN
Stop executions to honour Bhutto, Pakistani PM says
by Qaiser Felix
11/12/2007 PAKISTAN
Musharraf imposes martial law, not a state of emergency
by Qaiser Felix
03/25/2008 PAKISTAN
Gillani, the new Pakistani Prime Minister, frees judges arrested by Musharraf
09/06/2008 PAKISTAN
Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's new president
11/30/2004 SOUTH KOREA
Religious leaders call for the abolition of the death penalty

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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