Kulbhushan's death sentence: After Sushma, Amnesty says Pakistan military courts unreliable

Awarding of death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan shows how the country's military court system rides "roughshod" over international standards, Amnesty International said.

Sushma Swaraj has warned Pakistan that before going ahead with the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, it should think seriously about the consequences that it will have on the bilateral relations between the two countries. Kulbhushan Jadhav has been awarded death sentence by a military court in Pakistan. He has been charged with spying for India in Balochistan.

Sushma informed the Parliament that Kulbhushan Jadhav was actually doing business in Iran and was abducted to Pakistan. She said that ignoring the international law, Pakistan denied consular access to Jadhav and a chance of fair trial was not given to him.

She said that if Pakistan goes ahead with execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav it will be nothing but a murder. Sushma said that Pakistan is doing this just to deflect attention from well known record of Pakistan regarding supporting and sponsoring terrorism.

Incidentally what Sushma Swaraj said in Indian Parliament on Tuesday, has been underlined by the just released report of well known organisation Amnesty International. The report regarding executions in all the countries in 2016, reveals shocking things regarding judicial trial system in Pakistan and how casually death sentences are awarded and carried out there.


According to the report, while the world is gradually moving towards total abolition of death penalties, Pakistan remains in the top four countries regarding number of execution. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq along with Pakistan carried out 87% of the global total of execution in world.( Although, the highest number of executions are done in China it never releases its report publicly.)

While no one was executed in India in 2016, 87 people were executed in Pakistan in the same year and more than 6000 were on death row till December 2016.

The Amnesty International report noted that Pakistan is among the few countries where juvenile offenders convicted in previous years remained on death row. Pakistan remains oblivious to the fact that the imposition and execution of the death penalty against people who were aged under 18 when the crime was committed is a violation of international law.

According to the report, Pakistan also executed people for crimes which did not meet the standard of "most serious crimes" like "insulting the prophet of Islam".

Different forms of "treason", "acts against national security", "collaboration" with a foreign entity, "espionage", "questioning the leader's policies", participation in "insurrectional movement and terrorism" and other "crimes against the state", whether or not they led to a loss of life, were punished with death sentences in Pakistan.


The Amnesty International report says that the many prisoners in Pakistan were are also executed on the basis of death sentence awarded by the military courts. But it emphasises that proceedings under these military courts did not meet the international fair trade standards. This is exactly what India and social Swaraj have been saying regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Still at least 133 people were sentenced to death by these military courts during the year.

Denouncing Pakistan further, the Amnesty International report says that in Pakistan and few other countries the death penalty was used in contravention of international law and standards, including on people with mental disabilities.


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