Pakistan: Capital Punishment

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 12th April 2021.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about (1) the death sentence imposed on Sajjad Masih Gill, and (2) the use of the death sentence in Pakistan; and what response they have received (a) on this case, and (b) on the use of the death sentence.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

It is the UK's longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. We are concerned about the case of Sajjad Masih Gill, who was sentenced to death in March 2021, after being convicted for blasphemy.

We do not comment on our handling of individual cases but regularly raise our concerns about blasphemy laws at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. On 23 March, I discussed Freedom of Religion or Belief with Pakistan's Special Representative for Religious Harmony, Tahir Ashrafi. On 20 February, I also raised our concerns about the protection of minority religious communities, including the use of blasphemy laws, with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari.

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