Kangaroo Court in Pakistan sentences 11 to Death

Pakistan Military Courts

RAWALPINDI: Army Raheel Sharif on Tuesday personally confirmed the death sentences of 11 ‘hardcore terrorists’ involved in committing “heinous offences related to terrorism,” according to a statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army mouthpiece.

These convicts were tried by a military court, with civilian judicial system having no say in the process.

In 2015, 326 people were executed in Pakistan, 13 times more than the US, as against just 1 in India. Most of them were killed by hastily set-up Military courts on orders of Pakistan Army General.

The military courts are governed by the Army Act 1952 of Pakistan and these courts deal with the scheduled offences as mentioned in the act. Reflecting the overarching control of military over Pakistan, a military court can also try civilians, like it did yesterday.

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A single military court in Pakistan consists of a presiding officer – an officer of Lt-Col rank – and two members who are usually majors.

 

The convicted people include those who were accused of ‘sectarian’ killings, kidnapping, damaging school and Communication infrastructure, insulting Pakistan army and killing of a army major.

As of July 2016, Pakistan has executed over 400 death row prisoners since January 2015. On 5 August 2015, Pakistan hanged Shafqat Hussain in Karachi who was convicted of killing a 7-year-old boy in 2004. The execution was condemned widely as he was only 14 at the time and was tortured into confessing to the murder.