Abdul Basit

Date.16 Feb, 2016

ABIn 2008, Abdul was an administrator at a medical college when he was arrested and accused of murdering the uncle of a woman with whom he was in a relationship. He has always maintained that he is innocent. In 2009, he was found guilty and sentenced to death.


He spent 18 months in detention in Sahiwal Jail before being transferred to Central Jail, Faisalabad in 2010. That year, riots broke out in Central Jail with prisoners protesting torture and abuse by the jail’s superintendent. Some prisoners, including Abdul were sent to a punishment wing where they were held in fetters in deplorably unhygienic conditions. Abdul became ill with a fever and was left untreated so fell into a coma.


Who-are-we-Hanging-Pakistan-to-execute-a-paralyzed-man-Not-a-Terrorist-then-WHYWhen he was finally taken to the hospital he was diagnosed with tubercular meningitis. This left him paralysed from the waist down. A medical board stated he was: permanently disabled…likely to remain bed-bound for the rest of his life. He was then confined to lie on the floor of his cell and reliant on jail officers to assist him with basic hygiene. As he was not moved regularly he suffered from bedsores, and fecal and urinary incontinence.


Despite this, Abdul has strived to maintain his decency and humanity. He regularly practices calligraphy and copies verses from the Quran.


In July 2015, Abdul received his first death warrant saying he would hang on 29 July 2015. His first death warrant was issued in July 2015 to hang on 29 July 2015. This was stayed at the last moment by the Lahore High Court when Abdul’s lawyers challenged the legality of the execution. But when the petition was heard in September the Court refused to hear arguments based on human rights saying, international laws should be set asideĀ in determining whether to proceed with the hanging.


A new warrant was issued on 22 September 2015. This was stayed by the judicial officer and medical officer deputed to oversee the hanging as the Supreme Court had stated that execution had to follow the the Pakistan Prison Rules and jail authorities said this could not happen in Abdul’s case. At the time, Abdul was sitting in a wheelchair at the gallows with his hands tied behind him.


On 15 October 2015, a letter from the Presidency was forwarded to Basit’s counsel which requested that the Ministry  of  Interior consider the pending mercy petition, describing it as self explanatory. No further correspondence has been received dismissing the petition.