LAHORE, 26 October 2016: The death warrant for mentally ill condemned prisoner Imdad Ali has been issued by the Sessions Court upon the request of the Government of Punjab. He will be executed on Wednesday, 2 November 2016.

This ‘black’ warrant comes in light of international and national shock over the dismissal of his petition by the Supreme Court. Doctors and other prominent members of the medical community have been holding press conferences nationwide calling on President Mamnoon Hussain to stop Imdad’s execution and to grant him mercy. The Federal Ministry of Human Rights, has also sent a letter advising the Secretary, Interior Ministry to stay the execution on humanitarian grounds.

Imdad was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and a 2013 medical report stated him to be “insane.” His most recent medical reports in September and October 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.

Last week, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that schizophrenia does not qualify as a mental disorder under the Mental Health laws, clearing the way to execute a deeply unwell man who suffers from the debilitating condition. The judgment, authored by the Chief Justice himself, referred to an Indian case from the 1980s, which says “’schizophrenia’ is what schizophrenia does.”

Pakistan has signed international agreements which prohibit the execution of mentally ill prisoners – but despite this, Imdad will be hanged next week.

A mercy petition was filed by Imdad’s family and his lawyers to President Mamnoon Hussain on 19 September. It remains pending with his office.

Sarah Belal, JPP Executive Director adds: “Imdad’s death will serve no retributive purpose, as he remains completely unaware of this reality. Executing a severely schizophrenic man will not only be in violation of Islam but also international law. Imdad’s hanging will signal to the world that Pakistan does not take its human rights commitments and treaty obligations seriously. We strongly urge President Mamnoon Hussain to urgently intervene to save Imdad’s life.”

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)
3. To confirm that the black warrant has been issued, please contact Vehari Jail at +92 (067) 9201280.