Pakistan authorites arrest school massacre suspect

Pakistan authorites arrest school massacre suspect

[JURIST] The Pakistani military on Monday arrested Taj Muhamad, a man believed to be one of the militants who carried out the deadly Peshawar School Massacre [BBC archive; JURISTreport] last December. Taj Muhamad is believed to have been the commander of one of the units that attacked [BBC report] the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, leaving 134 children dead and killing more than 140 people in total. He was arrested at a camp for internally displaced people near Peshawar. Authorities believe that 27 individuals were involved in the attack, but nine gunmen were killed during the siege. Earlier this month Afghanistan National Security Forces reported the arrest of five men [JURIST report] believed to have helped support the massacre.

These arrests are the latest in a series of anti-terrorism government efforts in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre by the Pakistani Taliban in December. Last month Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain [BBC profile] signed into law a constitutional amendment establishing military courts [JURIST report] for the prosecution of civilian terrorism-related cases. The president’s signature came just one day after the Pakistan National Assembly [official website] passed the law unopposed [JURIST report], securing the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution. In response to the attack, Pakistan reinstated the death penalty [JURIST report] in terrorism-related cases last month. Also in December UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned the “savage extremism” of the Taliban insurgents behind the school massacre.