ISLAMABAD, 12 Nov. 2016: The Supreme Court will hear arguments seeking review of the judgment  which dismissed the appeal of mentally ill prisoner Imdad Ali, on Monday, 14 Nov.

The Supreme Court had previously cleared the way for Imdad’s execution, saying that schizophrenia was ‘not a mental illness’ on 21 Oct. However, following a fresh petition from his lawyers, and an intervention in support from the government of Punjab, his execution was stayed.
Review petitions against the judgment have since been filed by the office of the Attorney General and the Prosecutor General of Punjab.
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.
Zainab Malik, Head of Advocacy at Justice Project Pakistan adds: We stand at a critical juncture in Pakistan’s human rights record. The Supreme Court decision to review the death sentence of a severely mentally ill prisoner has set a positive precedent that we hope will pave the way for greater safeguards for the most vulnerable in our criminal justice system. 


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)