Brothers hanged in Sialkot for murdering six people

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MULTAN: Two brothers convicted of murdering six people from the same family were hanged at a jail in Sialkot on Saturday, just days after Amnesty International criticised the country for becoming the world’s third most prolific executioner after China and Iran.

Nasir Mehmood and Tahir Iqbal were hanged for the 2002 murders, senior prison official Chaudhry Arshad Saeed Arain told AFP.

The hanged men killed six members of a family over a land dispute, jail officials said. No further details were available.

A six-year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in Pakistan after Taliban militants gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.

Executions in Pakistan have helped fuel an increase worldwide, Amnesty International said in a report this week, with at least 1,634 people put to death globally in 2015, the highest figure recorded since 1989.

“Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number three spot for recorded state executions in the world — a shameful position no one should aspire to,” Champa Patel, director of Amnesty’s South Asia office, told AFP.

Pakistan executed 326 people last year, Patel said.

The overwhelming majority of those hanged since Pakistan fully restored the death penalty in March 2015 had no links to terrorism, said Sarah Belal, director of the Justice Project Pakistan, which advocates the abolition of hanging and represents death row convicts.

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