Pakistan risks UK anti-drugs money as hangings of traffickers resume

From Aid | The Guardian Sat Nov 17 2012, 15:44:10

British opposition to the death penalty calls into question £12m donation toward drugs policing

The UK's decision to give millions of pounds to help Pakistan fight drug trafficking - an offence that carries the death penalty - has been thrown into question after the country resumed executions last week.

Human rights groups are concerned that the UK, which leads the world in calling for the abolition of the death penalty, has been helping Pakistan to catch drug smugglers, despite the country's poor human rights record and the fact more than 8,000 people are on death row there. Many of those awaiting execution are "mules" who have been convicted for trafficking drugs on behalf of criminal gangs.

At least 25 Britons are in jail in Pakistan facing a potential death penalty, according to the human rights group Reprieve, which bases its figure on a briefing from the Foreign Office. Two have been convicted and sentenced to death.

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