Sri Lanka recruits 2 hangmen ahead of planned execution

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities have recruited two hangmen ahead of planned executions that would end a 43-year old moratorium on death penalty.

An official at the Justice Ministry said two out of 26 who were shortlisted for training have been selected and appointed for the posts of hangmen. About 100 people had applied for the two posts when they were advertised din February.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he is not authorized to speak with the media.

Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena last week signed the death warrants for four drug convicts who will be hanged soon, amid alarm over drug-related crimes in the country.

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Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976. Currently, 1,299 prisoners are on death row, including 48 convicted of drug offenses

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