Executions in 2018: min. 690 plus 'thousands' in China


The people sentenced and put to death in Pakistan during the last years rose dramatically: In 2015 only China and Iran executed more people worldwide within one year, even though there were some positive movements towards the abolition of the death penalty or at least minimization of executions in Pakistan during the years before: Still 36 persons were executed in 2008 but within the same year, the government announced an execution moratorium. On 9 July 2008 the head of the government converted the death sentences of more than 7,000 inmates into life sentences. 

There haven't been any executions during the following years, although the death penalty for blasphemy was again discussed more than once.

After the severe Taliban terror attack in a Peshawar school in December 2014 with more than 140 dead children and teachers, Pakistan converted the moratorium into a partial one. Thus the death penalty remained valid for terrorists and state offenses. During the first month after the attack about 20 terrorists were executed and another 500 sentenced to death for terroristic attempts and mass murdering. Within the following 6 months after the massacre in the Peshawar school more than 180 people were already executed. According to the figures of Amnesty International a minimum number of 326 executions were carried out between December 2014 and the end of the year 2015.  

The exeuctions have not only been applied to alleged terrorists but for other crimes including non-lethal ones. Pakistan officials confirmed in March 2015 that the moratorium was lifted completely and thus the death penalty again can be carried out regardless if the crime is related to terrorism or not.

The usual method of execution in Pakistan is hanging. Minors are not excluded from the death penalty as the execution of Shafquat Hussain in August 2015 showed: Hussain was executed after 11 years of incarceration. He was convicted of murdering when he was only 15 years old.

Sources and further information: "Death Sentences and Executions 2015", Amnesty International, report published in April 2016; Reprieve.