Pakistan: Legal changes affecting application of the death penalty

This document comments on the changes introduced by the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance which will affect the application of the death penalty. This ordinance was first promulgated in September 1990 and issued again in January 1991. A further ordinance was promulgated in December 1990, extending the number of offences punishable by death. Kidnapping for ransom now attracts the death sentence and such cases can now be tried by courts established under the Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) act of 1975 which, Amnesty International believes, do not fulfil internationally recognized standards for fair trial.

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