Black warrants for ‘mentally-ill’ convict

Published July 24, 2015
Jail authorities stated that Hayat was fit for execution.—AFP/File
Jail authorities stated that Hayat was fit for execution.—AFP/File

LAHORE: The district and sessions judge on Thursday issued fresh death warrants for a ‘mentally-ill’ condemned prisoner Khizar Hayat for July 28 as temporary moratorium on executions also ended with Ramazan.

Hayat, a former police constable, will be the first convict to be executed since the federal government had temporarily stopped hangings in the fasting month.

Previously, the Lahore High Court had stayed Hayat’s execution a day before the hanging.

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a law firm working for prisoners’ rights, represented the case of Hayat on behalf of his mother Iqbal Bano. It was pleaded that the jail authorities in 2008 diagnosed the 41-year-old inmate with paranoid schizophrenia.

Shadbagh police had arrested Hayat in October 2001 for killing a fellow policeman and the trial court handed him down death sentence in 2003.

However, the court later revoked the stay after the jail authorities stated that Hayat was fit for execution.

The JPP said the second mercy petition of Hayat was still pending before the president of Pakistan.

JPP Director Barrister Sarah Belal said Khizar Hayat’s severe mental illness was well-documented and the jail’s own records showed that he suffered from ‘severe psychosis’.

She said it was deplorable, then, that the government still wanted to hang him. Executing mentally ill people was a violation of local as well as international laws, she said, and added that Hayat’s execution must be halted and he should be shifted to some mental hospital immediately.

The sessions judge also issued death warrants of another condemned prisoner, Saeed Muhammad, for July 29. He was convicted in 2008.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2015

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