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Pakistan prosecutes its paramilitary soldiers for extrajudicial killing

A Pakistan court prosecuted six paramilitary soldiers and one civilian security guard for the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Karachi two months ago.

A video of the killing, recorded by a local cameraman,  showed the young boy begging for mercy, before being shot, twice.

The video was widely broadcast across television channels and internet sites.

The killing was severely condemned by human rights groups and politicians, whipping up public outrage at the incident.
President Asif Ali Zardari swiftly launched an inquiry into the incident. The defendants were brought to the courts and tried in just over two months. The soldier who perpetrated the crimes received the death penalty, whilst remaining defendants received life sentences.

The troops were part of a unit of Rangers – a paramilitary force deployed to maintain order in Karachi.

Whilst denouncing the death sentence issued, Human Rights Watch welcomed the swift delivery of accountability and justice.

“The verdict should go some way in arresting the impunity for abuses by Pakistan’s trigger-happy security and paramilitary agencies,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch.

 “There is no greater deterrent to abuse than fear of accountability.”