UN opposes death penalty, but stands for accountability of murderers, Spokesman on SHC verdict

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 03 (APP):The United Nations stands against death penalty, the world body’s spokesman said when asked about the overturning by a Pakistani court of the murder convictions of four men accused in the 2002 killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

“I have no specific comment except to say that, obviously, we stand against the use of the death penalty. We do, however, strongly believe that there needs to be accountability for people who take the lives of others, especially, in this case, the life of a journalist,” Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said during UN’s online briefing in New York.

He was replying to a question about UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ comments on the Sindh High Court’s verdict commuting the death sentence of al-Qaeds-linked Ahmed Omer Sheikh, the primary accused in the murder case.

Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about religious extremists in Karachi.