Pakistan has revised its policy on capital punishment and announced it is to commute the sentences of thousands of prisoners on death row to life imprisonment. The proposal, still to be endorsed by President Musharraf, is expected to benefit some 7000 condemned prisoners.
Amnesty International claims the move will reprieve one-third of the world’s death row population. However, it is not yet clear what crimes will be covered by the decision.
In a report last year, Amnesty said Pakistan had more people facing execution than any other country in the world. Eighty-two people were executed there in 2006. It is not yet known whether Christians convicted of ‘blasphemy’ will come within the reprieve.