LONDON – Secretive British Government documents reveal that UKgovernment has been funding Pakistan Anti Terrorism Courts .
British taxpayers are funding prosecutions in Pakistan that have led to dozens of death sentences, according to newly disclosed details of a secretive UK aid programme, *The Guardian* link? reported.
The documents reveal that the UK Foreign Office is supporting specialist civilian courts that prosecute terrorist suspects in what the UK government’s global security strategy calls a “rule of law” programme in Pakistan.
They reveal that the UK government has supported the project since 2016, during which time the courts have handed down 59 death sentences, some of which are likely to be unsafe convictions.
A parliamentary response last week said the UK government had spent £10.39 million on the Pakistan programme, the bulk of the money – £9.32m – coming from the overseas aid budget.
One strand of the project, the “counter terrorism associated prosecutorial reforms initiative” (Capri) “aims to increase Pakistan’s civilian capacity to investigate, detain, prosecute and try terrorists in line with international standards and human rights norms”. However legal charity Reprieve says it is impossible for the UKsupport civilian terrorism courts in Pakistan in accordance with international law because the courts do not meet recognised standards.
Campaigners for Reprieve say death sentences are imposed for offences such as kidnapping, despite international law prohibiting the death sentence for anything but murder.