ISLAMABAD, 18 November 2016: While appearing in Imdad Ali’s review hearing today, the Advocate General of Punjab said that the death row prisoner’s medical records had not been properly maintained, and this showed how his judicial proceedings had been affected by state machinery.

“The state failed to safeguard the rights of Imdad, a mentally ill person,” he added.

The Supreme Court said that if the Special Medical Board finds that Imdad Ali is indeed mentally unwell, his execution will be delayed until recovery. 

During the proceedings today, the justices remarked that schizophrenia is a disease that has different levels to determine soundness of mind, and that the medical board report will clarify the extent of Imdad’s illness.

The Court ordered that the newly-formed medical board submit a report in two weeks after which the next hearing will be scheduled.

Imdad, 50, 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)