Sri Lanka hire two hangmen 'for light duties'


Sri Lanka has hired two hangmen – even though nobody has been executed in the country since 1976.

There are 1,116 convicts on death row, but the role is described as ‘light administrative work only’.

'It doesn't matter whether the government wants to execute or not. In the event the government wants to carry out executions, we should be prepared,’ prisons commissioner general Rohana Pushpakumara said.

The previous hangman quit in March last year, citing stress, soon after he saw the gallows for the first time.

Death sentences have been routinely replaced with life in jail since 1976, even though Sri Lanka only officially acknowledged last month it was no longer carrying out capital punishment.

More than half of those who are on death row have lodged appeals against their sentences, Pushpakumara said.

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