Sri Lanka's top court stays executions until Oct. 30

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction against the execution of four people convicted of drug-related offences until Oct. 30.

The court issued the order on Friday in response to a petition filed by a convict on death row against a move by President Maithripala Sirisena to execute the four. The Supreme Court will take up the case again on Oct. 29.

Sirisena announced last week that he has signed death warrants for the four convicts and their executions would take place soon.

Rights groups and foreign governments, including the European Union, have urged Sri Lanka to continue its 43-year moratorium on the death penalty.

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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