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EU slams Pak over 'alarming' rate of executions, stand on Kulbhushan Jadhav

Called on Pakistan to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, with the goal of full abolition

Agencies  |  New Delhi/Brussels 

Kulbhushan Jadhav
File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'

The (EP) on Thursday debated and adopted a resolution condemning the situation in Pakistan, as well as slamming Islamabad for breaching international law by not allowing consular access to Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death for espionage.

Significantly, the EP resolution came on Thursday, days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, by a army court for alleged "involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan".

India moved the ICJ, describing the charges against Jadhav as "concocted" and his trial as "farcical". 

The resolution, which was adopted by majority, expressed grave concern over the "roll-back in of the respect for and the rule of law", in particular the freedom granted to security forces, the use of military courts, the crackdown on NGOs, the intimidation of defenders and religious minorities, and the increase in extrajudicial killings.

The reminded Islamabad of its obligation to ensure respect for the of freedom of thought and freedom of expression and other international and regional instruments.

"Parliament is deeply concerned at the alarming rate of executions in following flawed trials, including of minors and persons with mental disabilities, some of which are carried out while appeals are still under way," the resolution said. 

It also called on to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, with the ultimate goal of full abolition. 

"The EP deplores the use in of military courts that hold hearing in secret and have civilian jurisdiction; insists that the Pakistani authorities grant access to international observers and organisations for purposes of monitoring the use of military courts," the resolution said. 

Speaking during the debate in plenary in the French city of Strasbourg, British Member of the Neena Gill, said: "In March, military courts that can try civilians were reinstated for 2 more years. Basic rights of foreigners brought to trial are trampled on. With no access to consular rights. People who work for NGOs face harassment, arrest or worse – death.”

"It is high time to see real progress on and strengthening of the civil judiciary inPakistan.If not, GSP+ has to be reviewed," she stressed.

The said that the death penalty is incompatible with values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, on which the Union is founded, and that any member state reintroducing the death penalty would, therefore, be in violation of the Treaties and of the EU Charter of

First Published: Fri, June 16 2017. 09:50 IST
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