HRW opposes death penalty
NEW YORK: An anti-terrorism court on Friday convicted and sentenced six Rangers personnel and a civilian for murdering an unarmed youth in their custody. Shahid Zafar, the soldier who shot dead Sarfraz Shah, 18, on June 8 in a park in Karachi after the Rangers detained him, was sentenced to death. He said he would appeal. The others were sentenced to life in prison.
The guilty verdicts for those responsible for killing Shah are an important advance for holding soldiers accountable in Pakistan, but a death sentence would only add to the body count, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Pakistan has not carried out a judicial execution since 2008. The HRW opposes the death penalty in all circumstances because it is a cruel and inhumane punishment. “The verdict should go some way in arresting the impunity for abuses by trigger-happy security and paramilitary agencies,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at HRW. “There is no greater deterrent to abuse than fear of accountability.”
Source: Daily Times