Child Abusers to Be Publicly Hanged in Pakistan Under New Government Rules
Parliament agrees on non-binding resolution to execute child sex offenders in public
Convicted child abusers will now be hanged in public following new rules introduced by Pakistan's government.
On Friday, the Pakistani parliament passed a resolution calling for the public hanging of convicted child rapists and killers.
The passing of the new rules follows a spate of high-profile child sex-abuse cases that have triggered outrage among citizens in recent years, sparking protests and riots across Pakistan.
The resolution was presented in the national assembly, or lower house, by Ali Muhammad Khan, Pakistan's parliamentary affairs minister.
Child killers and rapists "should not only be given the death penalty by hanging, but they should be hanged publicly," Khan declared.
"The Quran commands us that a murderer should be hanged," he added.
Though a majority of lawmakers approved the resolution, human rights minister Shireen Mazari stressed it that some liberal ministers oppose it.
"Many of us oppose it - our MOHR (human rights ministry) opposes this," Mazari tweeted.
Human rights organizations have long called on Pakistan to reinstate a moratorium on the death penalty, which was lifted after the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar in 2014 that killed 151 people, all but nine of them children.
In the years after the lifting of the moratorium, child sexual abuses have become rampant in Pakistan.
In October 2018, authorities hanged a child rapist in an infamous case in Kasur, near Lahore, that sparked nationwide protests.
In that case, the six-year-old victim, Zainab Fatima Ameen, had been attacked by a 24-year-old man who went on to confess to her rape and murder.
Authorities in Kasur also uncovered a massive pedophilia ring in 2015.
In a scandal that rocked the country, at least 280 children were sexually abused by a gang who blackmailed their parents by threatening to leak the videos.
Prior to the new rules, there were no crimes punished by public execution in Pakistan.
Omar Waraich, Amnesty International's Deputy South Asia Director, told MailOnline in a statement: "Pakistan should be moving to abolish this cruel relic of the past, not extending its use."
"Lawmakers in Pakistan need to look at the facts - there is no evidence anywhere in the world that capital punishment deters crime any more than prison, and the grisly spectacle of public executions will be no different," he added.
"Public executions, which are thankfully now very rare in the world, are a throwback to a crueler age.
"Pakistan should focus on proper child protection and crime prevention measures."
"Public hangings are acts of unconscionable cruelty and have no place in a rights-respecting society," Amnesty said in an earlier statement.
"There is no empirical evidence to show that public hangings are a deterrent to crime or in protecting the psycho-social well-being of children," Sarah Belal, executive director of Justice Project Pakistan, a non-profit group campaigning against the death penalty, said.
In March 2016, Pakistan introduced a law criminalizing sexual assault against minors, child pornography, and child trafficking.
Previously, only acts of rape and sodomy were punishable by law.