Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Criminals like ‘motorway rapists’ should be hanged at public squares: PM Imran

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that criminals and rapists, like the ones involved in the horrific gang-rape of an unidentified woman on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway earlier this week, should be hanged in public squares.

PM Imran made the statement while talking to renowned journalist Moeed Pirzada during an interview that will be aired later on Monday by 92 News channel. According to a message shared by Pirzada on Twitter, PM Imran also made other explosive statements.

Read more: Motorway gang-rape: Is death penalty the solution to crimes against women?

An unidentified woman was gang-raped in front of her children on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway earlier this week. The incident sparked an outcry for women’s safety across the country, with many blaming the police for negligence.

Should capital punishment be abolished or are rapists to be hanged publicly?

Pakistan put a ban on the death penalty in 2008 and lifted it after a barbaric attack on the Peshawar Army Public School. The question of the death penalty is often debated in Pakistan. Prominent anchorperson Dr. Moeed Pirzada argues that “the death penalty needs to be debated and rationalized in Pakistan”.

At the country’s creation in 1947, ‘death’ was awarded for only two counts. Now it’s 27. Dr. Moeed argues that countries that have abolished the death penalty did so in an evolutionary process. He offers an interesting background.

China, for instance, saw a brief period of abolition in the 8th century, Russian Bolsheviks banned the death penalty in 1917. In modern Europe, the Netherlands abolished capital punishment in peace times in 1878, but during wartimes from 1945 to 1952, many war prisoners were sentenced to death.

Read more: ‘Hang rapists publicly’: Horrific motorway gang-rape case shocks Pakistan social media

In the UK – a European country of much relevance to Pakistan – Sir Samuel Romilly had started the process of reduction in the death penalty in 1808. But the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment 1864-66 could not decide whether to abolish the death penalty or not, though it did away with public executions. In 1938 a parliamentary bill was to be debated for an experimental five-year suspension, but then the climate and feelings generated by the beginning of the Second World War made it impossible.

In 1949, once Nuremberg trials [a series of 13 trials carried out in Nuremberg, Germany, between 1945 and 1949 for the purpose of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice] were out of the way, another Royal Commission on Capital Punishment examined the matter but advised against abolishment. Finally, in 1965 a five-year moratorium was placed on an experimental basis almost 160 years after Romilly had started to reform the punishment.

Read more: Death penalty for rape cases and the rule of law

In almost every European country, abolishment followed a similarly intense debate, reform of the system, and adjustment of the defense of life and property through other parallel enactments. Dr. Pirzada laments that in Pakistan, no public debate was initiated and a ban was imposed, which created more challenges, for instance, the increase in crime rates.

GVS News Desk

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