The Pakistan Supreme Court’s decision to suspend death sentences passed by military courts is an important recognition of serious questions about the lawfulness of the country’s new military tribunal system, Amnesty International said.
The Supreme Court today suspended death sentences imposed by military courts, after the Supreme Court Bar Association challenged a constitutional amendment passed in January that sped up the prosecution of terror cases and moved them from civilian to military courts.
There are more than 8,000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan. Since a moratorium on the execution of civilians was lifted in December, at least 76 people have been executed.
“This ruling by the Supreme Court is a step in the right direction, which points to something being very wrong in the government’s relentless rush to execute death row prisoners since December,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.