The cradle of some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, home to four out of the planet’s six billion people, and a battleground for the earth’s remaining resources, Asia and the Pacific are poised to play a defining role in international affairs in the coming decade.
Pakistan’s announcement that it has lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in response to the Dec. 16 attack on the Army Public School and College in Peshawar continues to draw severe criticism from human rights groups, which say that this contravenes international treaties signed by Pakistan.
As Pakistan lifts its moratorium on executions in response to this week’s attack on a school in Peshawar, human rights groups say that resuming the death penalty will not combat terrorism in Pakistan.
Innocent people will be executed in the United States if the country’s capital punishment system is not reformed, warns a new report.
The number of recorded executions carried out worldwide rose 14 percent last year, as anti-terrorism measures in Iraq and hardline drug polices in Iran accounted for more than half of all reported government-sanctioned killings in 2013.
International human rights groups have strongly denounced Monday’s sentencing by an Egyptian court of 529 Islamists to death for a riot in which one policeman was killed.
As many as 700 people were sentenced to death in Iran last year, according to United Nations estimates. Most were charged with drug-related crimes and belonged to ethnic minorities, new studies show.
Until the late 1970s, only 16 countries had abolished the capital punishment for all crimes. Today, abolitionist nations are the overwhelming majority. More than two-thirds of nations, over 150 of the 193 members of the United Nations, have now rejected the death penalty or do not carry out executions.
The execution of three Taliban men ordered by the courts has been kept on hold - not because the Pakistani government opposes the death penalty but because it fears the Taliban, political leaders say.
Taiwanese activists and human rights advocates ushered in the New Year with a push to prevent a return to authoritarianism and defend procedural justice for death row prisoners in the wake of six executions just before Christmas.
On Dec. 18, 2007, the approval of a resolution for a moratorium on executions by the United Nations General Assembly was hailed as a milestone in the struggle to abolish the death penalty worldwide. It is true that the United Nations may not impose the abolition of the death penalty, but the moral and political value of the resolution is undeniable.
Wednesday, Nov. 21, dawned like any other in the sleepy town of Faridkot, located some 150 kilometres from the Punjab capital of Lahore in Pakistan. But as the town’s 3000 residents went about their daily routines the air grew thick with apprehension, for a reason none wanted to mention.
One day after voting against a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution seeking to abolish the death penalty, India executed Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Kasab for the November 2008 terror rampage in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.
More than a year into his mandate, Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, told the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly this week that the rights situation in Iran remains critical, especially as it pertains to human rights defenders, journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities.
Ten years of campaigning by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty have brought fruit: the number of countries that have abolished capital punishment in law or practice has gone up to 140. But some countries have resumed executions this year.