Spotlight on Pakistan

Since resuming executions in December 2014, the Pakistani authorities have gone on an unprecedented killing spree. Pakistan already had the world’s largest death row at around 8,000 people – now it is also one of the world’s most prolific executioners.

An estimated 418 people have been hanged since Pakistan resumed executions after a 6-year moratorium. This includes juveniles, prisoners who were tortured into ‘confessions’, and others who have subsequently been found to have been innocent.

Pakistan has gone from a non-executing state to executing over 400 people in little over two years. The Pakistani Government seems indifferent to the plight of the many prisoners who should not even be on death row – those arrested as children, or suffering from severe physical or mental illnesses.

So-called ‘crimes’ punishable by death in Pakistan include adultery, apostasy and blasphemy.

Execution method



Executions in 2017

So far, at least 11 people have been executed (as of April 2017).

Executions in 2016

87 executions were carried out in 2016.

Executions in 2015

At least 325 executions were carried out in 2015.

Notable executions

Aftab Bahadur was sentenced to death as a child. Despite clear evidence of his innocence, and in violation of international and Pakistani law, Aftab was executed on Wednesday 10th June 2015 in the early hours of the morning.

At the age of 15, Aftab was sentenced to death by hanging even though he was a child. His conviction was largely based on testimony from two witnesses, who later recanted their statements which had also been extracted through torture.

During his time on death row, Aftab turned to poetry and art, and spent much of his time painting signs for the Kot Lakhpat Jail that held him.

WATCH – “I just received my Black Warrant. It says I will be hanged by the neck until dead”… David Morrissey reads Aftab’s final letter from death row