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ICC Note:

Violence from Islamic extremist groups across Pakistan is feared following the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, the confessed killer of former Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. It has been confirmed that in the early morning hours Mumtaz Qadri was executed after his death sentence was confirmed by Pakistani courts at all levels and a presidential pardon was denied. Protests blocking the streets in Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi have already been reported and many authorities fear the violence that was promised by Pakistan’s Islamic extremist groups may break out. 

2/29/2016 Pakistan (Asia News) – Mumtaz Qadri, the confessed murderer of former Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, was hanged in the early hours of this morning. The death sentence was confirmed last week by the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, after the request for a pardon presented by Qadri’s lawyer was denied. The hanging has sparked protests from Qadri’s supporters, who hail him as a “national hero” for having defended the blasphemy laws.

The death sentence was carried out at 4:30 (local time) in the Adyala prison in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad. A few hours before the inmate was able to meet the family for the last time. His body was handed over to family members, who organized the funeral for the afternoon today.

Qadri’s death has been condemned by the Islamic associations in the country, who have blocked the streets of Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. His supporters are also expected at the funeral, and the security forces have stepped up the alert level in the most sensitive areas.

On 4 January 2011, Qadri, one of Taseer’s body guards, killed the governor as he left a restaurant in Islamabad, over his positions against the blasphemy law, which imposes life imprisonment or the death sentence for those who desecrate the Qur’an or the name of the prophet Muhammad.

Qadri has always claimed responsibility for the murder saying he wanted to punish the governor, who had also spoken in favor of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman charged with insulting the Prophet.

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