ISLAMABAD, 31 OCT 2016: The Supreme Court stayed the execution of mentally ill prisoner Imdad Ali on Monday.
The execution was stayed after the review petition submitted by Imdad’s lawyers was admitted for hearing, which has been scheduled for the second week of November.
The bench was informed that the Government of Punjab has also submitted a petition for review.
At the next date of hearing the Supreme Court will hear arguments seeking review of the judgment issued on 21 Oct. 2016, which dismissed Imdad’s appeal.
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 welcome the decision of the Supreme Court today, which will be integral in showing Pakistan’s commitment to its international human rights obligations to the world. It has potential to substantially reform Pakistan’s criminal justice system, particularly in terms of its treatment of mentally ill prisoners.

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)