Rights group urges Pakistan govt. to halt hanging of Behram Khan

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New York: In a statement issued on Tuesday (15th May), Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the government of Pakistan to halt the scheduled hanging on May 23, 2012, of Behram Khan for the murder of a lawyer in 2003.

On May 10, Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of Karachi’s Anti Terrorist Court directed officials at the central prison in Karachi to hang Khan, who has been on death row since June 2003. Khan had been convicted of the killing of the lawyer, Mohammad Ashraf, on the premises of the Sindh High Court in Karachi. The hanging would end Pakistan’s unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in place since 2009.

“The Pakistani government has rightly not carried out executions since 2009,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch. 

“Instead of resorting to this barbaric practice, the government should declare the moratorium officially, commute all existing death sentences, and then abolish the death penalty for all crimes,” Hasan asserted.

On April 15, 2003, Khan and Police Sub-Inspector Pir Bux entered the Sindh High Court intending to kill Qurban Ali Chauhan, the lawyer for an accused under trial for the killing of Khan’s uncle. Khan killed Ashraf in a case of mistaken identity. An anti-terrorist court sentenced Khan to death on June 25, 2003. Pir Bux was sentenced to life in prison for abetting the murder.
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