Pakistan executes six murder convicts: Officials

Pakistan on Wednesday hanged six prisoners condemned for murder, officials said, bringing the total executed since the death penalty was resumed in December to 61.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday hanged six prisoners condemned for murder, officials said, bringing the total executed since the death penalty was resumed in December to 61.

Four went to the gallows in prisons across Punjab province and two others were hanged in the southern city of Sukkur, including a seminary teacher who slit the throat of a student.

Pakistan restarted executions in December as part of a crackdown on militants and criminals after Taliban militants gunned down 154 people, most of then schoolchildren, at a school in the restive northwest.

A moratorium had been in force since 2008. It was initially lifted only for those convicted of terrorism offences, but the move was extended to all capital offences this month.

The European Union, the United Nations and human rights campaigners have all urged Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium.

Critics say Pakistan`s criminal justice system is unreliable, marred by police torture, poor legal representation for victims and unfair trials.

Human rights group Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted the appeals process.

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