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Pakistan Ramadan reprieve for death row inmates

19 June 2015, 08:10

Islamabad - Pakistan's proposed ban on executions during the holy month of Ramadan is to come into force this week, officials said on Thursday, after the hanging of nearly 170 death row inmates so far this year.

"Nobody will be sent to gallows in reverence of the month [Ramadan]," said an interior ministry official who asked not to be named.

Ramadan, the most revered month of the Islamic lunar calendar in which Muslims fast, is to begin in Pakistan from Friday, said Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, head of an official committee.

Pakistan has been executing convicts since lifting a six-year moratorium on the death penalty after December's massacre of school children by gunmen with the extremist Islamist Taliban.

The pace of the hangings has drawn widespread criticism from the United Nations, European Union and international rights groups with all calling for a reinstatement of the moratorium.

Last week, the authorities hanged a man who was convicted of murder at the age of 15.

Another death row inmate whose family insisted he was a teenager at the time of his conviction is awaiting the gallows after his appeals were rejected by the Supreme Court.

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