Rights organization says case of mentally ill prisoner on death row adjourned until special medical board examines him
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday ordered a fresh medical report into the condition of a mentally-ill prisoner on death row, an NGO representing him said, days after his execution was temporarily suspended.
The case of Khizar Hayat, a former police officer sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a colleague and who has spent more than 15 years in custody, has attracted widespread attention from rights groups and the U.N.
“The case was adjourned till the Special Medical Board examines Khizar and files their report before the Court,” the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a rights organization that is representing Hayat, said in a press release. It added that the court had “strongly reprimanded” jail authorities for failing to follow prison rules.
The court had temporarily suspended Hayat’s death sentence on Saturday. On Sunday, U.N. experts had urged Pakistan against carrying out an “arbitrary execution.”
“During his trial, no evidence or witnesses were called in his defense and no questions were asked regarding his mental health, although he was later diagnosed with a mental health condition and has been receiving treatment for the past 10 years,” they said.
Government doctors had diagnosed Hayat as suffering from schizophrenia in 2008.
Two years ago, experts from the World Psychiatric Association also appealed to Pakistan to halt his execution, saying he was suffering from schizophrenia and did not understand the crime he had committed. A petition to move him to a mental health facility was dismissed on Dec. 6, 2018, the U.N. experts said.