Pakistan postpones execution of physically challenged death row convict

Pakistan on Tuesday postponed the hanging of a paralyzed death row convict due to a lack of clarity of rules on how to execute a physically disabled person.

Abdul Basit, 43, was scheduled to be executed in Faisalabad Central Jail in Punjab but the decision was not implemented.

Ordering the postponement, a magistrate said that Basit could not be hanged in compliance with the jail manual because he is in a wheelchair.

According to the local laws, the convict should stand up on the platform for the noose but in the case of Basit, he is bound to a wheelchair, an official said.

The authorities are considering seeking the opinion of the home department in Punjab and the inspector general of jails in the province on how to carry out the execution.

Basit was convicted in 2009 for killing a man but he suffered tuberculosis meningitis in 2010 and an attack of paralysis which disabled his lower part of the body.

He was to be executed on July 29 but it was temporarily halted by Lahore High Court after a petition was lodged to set aside the death penalty due to bad health.

The court later rejected it, saying there was no legal bar on the execution of a paralyzed man and the issue of health should be determined by jail authorities including a qualified doctor.

Later, the Supreme Court also rejected a similar appeal.

Rights groups like Amnesty International, Reprieve, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had demanded the cancellation of Basit’s execution.

Pakistan has executed about 240 convicts since restoring the death penalty after an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December that killed 150 people, mostly students.

There are about 8,000 death row prisoners in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.