Amnesty International asks Zardari to commute all death sentences

June 21st, 2009 - 1:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Benazir Bhutto Peshawar, June 21 (ANI): The Amnesty International (AI) has asked Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to overturn all the death sentences to life imprisonment to mark the birthday of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto which falls on June 21 (today).

A statement issued by the agency said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, while addressing the National Assembly on June 21 last year, had proposed that all death sentences be commuted to life imprisonment.

“We urge the president to enact the prime minister’s commutation proposal, and follow the example of Benazir, who commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment after being elected prime minister in 1988,” The Daily Times quoted the statement, as saying.

The humanitarian agency noted that the number of death sentences was decreasing in Pakistan, which was an encouraging sign.

“The AI is encouraged by the decreased number of death sentences and executions in Pakistan in 2008. But Pakistan continues to apply the death penalty and some 7,500 prisoners remain on death row,” it added.

According to an estimate, 236 people were sentenced to death out of which 36 of them were executed in Pakistan in 2008. (ANI)

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