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Pakistan: New government sends a positive signal to the world by ratifying UN human rights convention

Fresh call on government to address human rights concerns across Pakistan

Amnesty International today welcomed the decision by Pakistan’s new government to ratify a key human rights treaty, but added that the authorities should now grasp this opportunity to address the pressing human rights problems in the country.

Amnesty International said:

“Becoming a state party to UN human rights conventions is a key step to ensuring human rights are respected, protected and realised for all in Pakistan in line with international standards.”

When presenting its candidature for the elections of the Human Rights Council in April 2006, Pakistan committed itself to early ratification of core human rights treaties.

On 17 April 2008 Pakistan moved to uphold this pledge, ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and signing both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

Over many years, Amnesty International has repeatedly urged Pakistan to ratify these and other UN human rights treaties.

Amnesty International now calls upon the Government of Pakistan:
· To promptly ratify the ICCPR and the UNCAT and enact implementing legislation to ensure that the three treaties become part of Pakistan’s domestic law;
· To ratify all other human rights treaties and their optional protocols, as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
· To give full effect to international human rights treaties in policy and practice;
· Release, or else disclose the fate and whereabouts of all victims of enforced disappearance;
· End all secret, incommunicado and administrative detentions;
· End all torture and other ill-treatment and repeal all laws which carry cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments;
· Declare a moratorium on all death sentences and commute the death sentences of the over 7,000 people currently on death row.

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