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Pakistan: Executions under the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance

, Index number: ASA 33/013/1995

This report describes Amnesty International's concern about the application of the death penalty under the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance. AI opposes the death penalty unconditionally in all cases. The Qisas and Diyat ordinance relates to the offences of murder, manslaughter and "bodily hurt", redefining the offence and its punishment in Islamic terms. Under Islamic law, the punishment for murder, homicide or inflicting of injury can be either Qisas (equal punishment for the crime committed) or Disas (compensation payable to the victims or their legal heirs). Two recent cases have reinforced AI's concerns about execution of death sentences imposed under this ordinance. In one case, a death sentence was to have been executed in Swabi in a manner identical to the murder for which it was imposed (qisas). The sentence has been postponed. In another case, in Peshawar, a man was hanged in October 1994 after waiting for 30 minutes, with the noose around his neck, which his family and the family of the victim argued about the payment of diyat, or compensation.

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