“I am concerned about Pakistan’s decision to reintroduce executions for prisoners with death sentences,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide. The moratorium against executions that was introduced in 2008 came to an end on 30 June this year. The new Government in Pakistan has indicated that it does not intend to extend the moratorium.
“Norway deeply deplores the use of the death penalty. We will raise this issue with the Pakistani Authorities and urge them in the strongest terms to extend the moratorium and work towards abolishing capital punishment in Pakistan,” said Mr Eide.
In 2008, the previous Pakistani Government introduced a moratorium on executions of prisoners who have been sentenced to death. With one exception, this has prevented executions. Unfortunately, however, there has been no moratorium on passing the death sentence, and between 300 and 400 people are sentenced to death every year. According to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which Norway supports, there are currently more than 8000 people who have been sentenced to death in Pakistani prisons.
Norway is deeply engaged in efforts to combat the death penalty and is working for its universal abolition. Norway was one of the main sponsors of the fifth World Congress Against the Death Penalty, which was held in Madrid from 12 to 15 June.