ISLAMABAD, 14 Nov. 2016: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered that a Special Medical Board be constituted to assess Imdad Ali’s current mental condition, saying that the jail medical records “mean nothing.”
The Advocate General Punjab and the Prosecutor General Punjab who appeared themselves in Court, filed Imdad’s entire jail medical record since 2001 that was previously unavailable and declares him mentally unfit. The government’s counsel mentioned that the state had failed to disclose these records to the courts in the trial and appellate proceedings. The SC, saying they cannot look at additional evidence at this point in the proceedings, did not take the records into consideration.
The SC has ordered that a 5-member medical board, composed of psychologists and psychiatrists be assembled, and that a list of competent doctors be submitted to the Court by all parties by Wednesday.  
The SC also added that Imdad’s mental condition during his trial is irrelevant as that has achieved finality in the Appeal. The Court chose to focus on Imdad’s current mental state, and whether it qualifies him as a person of unsound mind. Only then can [the SC] follow the international law obligations under ICCPR, it added.
The next hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, 16 Nov.
Imdad has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and a 2013 medical report stated him to be “insane.” His most recent medical reports in September and October, 2016 find him to be suffering from psychotic symptoms actively and a psychiatrist at the prison has deemed him “a treatment-resistant case.”
Sentenced to death in 2001 over a shooting, Imdad has spent 14 years on death row, with 3 years in solitary confinement in the jail hospital due to his schizophrenia.
Pakistan has signed international treaties, such as the ICCPR, which prohibit the execution of mentally ill prisoners. The country’s compliance with its human rights obligations comes under review as early as next year. Islamic jurisprudence also disallows the death penalty for the mentally ill.


Editor’s Notes

1. Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) is a human rights organization that provides pro bono legal representation to the most vulnerable Pakistani prisoners facing the harshest punishments. Our clients include those facing the death penalty, the mentally ill, victims of police torture and detainees of the ‘War on Terror’. JPP was established in December 2009 and is based in Lahore, Pakistan.
2. For details contact: Wassam Waheed (+92 346 9177771) or Rimmel Mohydin (+92 321 4224941)