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PUNISHED FOR BEING VULNERABLEHow Pakistan executes the poorest and the most marginalized in society
 
Cover photo: Activists from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) carry placards during a demonstration to mark International Day Against the Death Penalty in Islamabad on 10 October 2015. AAMIR QURESHI / AFP
 
FIDH - PUNISHED FOR BEING VULNERABLE - How Pakistan executes the poorest and the most marginalized in society
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Table of Contents
Acronyms ...........................................................................................................................4Executive summary ............................................................................................................51. Introduction ....................................................................................................................6
1.1 History of the death penalty in Pakistan ....................................................................................
6
1.2 Objectives .........................................................................................................................................71.3 Methodology ....................................................................................................................................7
2. Context ...........................................................................................................................9
2.1 Civil society under pressure ..........................................................................................................
9
2.2 Pakistan’s criminal justice system ..............................................................................................
9
2.2.1 Law enforcement agencies ..............................................................................................
9
2.2.2 Civilian courts ...................................................................................................................
10
2.2.3 Anti-terrorism courts ......................................................................................................
10
2.2.4 Military courts ..................................................................................................................
11
2.3 Legislative framework .................................................................................................................
12
2.3.1 Domestic laws ..................................................................................................................
12
2.3.2 International legal obligations.......................................................................................14
3. Inadequate police investigations ...................................................................................16
3.1 Reliance on questionable evidence ..........................................................................................
16
3.2 Lack of specialized training .......................................................................................................
18
3.3 Weak prosecutorial system .......................................................................................................
19
3.4 Societal pressures ......................................................................................................................
20
4. Unfair trials ..................................................................................................................21
4.1 Evaluation of the evidence .........................................................................................................
21
4.1.1 Evaluation of witness testimony ...........................................................................................
22
4.2 Pressure on judges ......................................................................................................................
22
4.3 Lack of use of jurisprudence and case law ............................................................................234.4 Harsh sentencing procedures ...................................................................................................24
5. Appeals: A late remedy .................................................................................................26
5.1 Appeals at the High Court and the Supreme Court ..............................................................
26
5.2 Years on death row ......................................................................................................................
28
6. Impact of capital punishment on families and children..................................................31
6.1 Psycho-social impact ..................................................................................................................316.2 Socio-economic impact ..............................................................................................................32
7. Recommendations ........................................................................................................34Annex I: Offenses punishable by death .............................................................................36Annex II: Statistics ...........................................................................................................39

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