Rights group speaks against hanging of mentally ill man in Pakistan

Hangings were reinstated in Pakistan after the 2014 Peshawar school attack Photograph:( Others )

Islamabad, Pakistan Sep 17, 2016, 03.47 AM (IST)

A rights group on Friday spoke against the hanging of a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia after a court in Pakistan scheduled his execution for next week.

Fifty-year-old Imdad Ali was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious teacher in 2002, international news agency AFP reported today. 

"Imdad Ali is mentally ill and has suffered years without proper treatment," a report by rights group, the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) said, adding he had been diagnosed as a "paranoid schizophrenic".

JPP told AFP that it had filed an appeal against a Lahore High Court decision last month which rejected pleas that Ali could not be executed on the basis of his mental illness.

The rights group argued that Ali's medical condition should be taken into account, and also the circumstances that had aggravated his mental illness trial period.

Pakistan had reintroduced death penalty following the 2014 school attack in Peshawar but for those convicted of terrorism. It was only later that the capital punishment was extended to all capital offences.

JPP executive director Sarah Belal also told AFP that Pakistan would violate its international legal commitments if it executed a mentally ill person.

"Executing Imdad will exemplify Pakistan's failure to abide by its international legal commitments that forbid the death penalty for persons suffering from mental disabilities," 

"Knowing what they do about his condition would make his hanging a most serious crime."

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), which Pakistan ratified in 2011, guarantees the “inherent dignity” of individuals with disabilities, she said.

( WION with inputs from AFP)

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