Islamabad, Pakistan (Reprieve) – The mother of a prisoner who is unable to stand due to medical neglect while in prison has urged the Pakistan authorities to stop his execution, currently slated for Wednesday (25 November).
Abdul Basit contracted meningitis while in prison in 2010, but it took a month for him to be diagnosed and hopsitalised. Due to spinal damage resulting from the disease, he now suffers from paraplegia, and needs to use a wheelchair.
Because the Pakistan Prison Rules do not provide a means for the hanging of those unable to stand, if the execution proceeds it will be arbitrary and there is a serious risk it could be badly botched, leading to prolonged suffering. This concern, raised by Basit’s lawyers, has led to his execution being stayed on two occasions already this year, most recently after the Supreme Court confirmed that the execution could only be carried out in accordance with the Prison Rules.
Speaking to Basit’s lawyers at Justice Project Pakistan, his mother, Nusrat Parveen, said:
“On Friday my son Imran received a call from the jail, and the person on the phone informed him that the black warrant of Abdul Basit has been issued and he is set to be executed on 25th November.
“When Imran told us about this we were shocked and our eyes filed with tears. I don’t know why the government and jail authorities hurrying to execute a paralyzed person. He is sick in bed; he can’t even walk or do anything for himself.
“I am unable to understand what the government will get from his execution. My son has already suffered a lot. His death will do nothing to serve justice and country. Please forgive him”.
Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of the death penalty team at international human rights organization Reprieve said: “This execution will not only be a horrific spectacle – it also risks causing prolonged suffering to Abdul Basit, and would violate Pakistan’s own prison rules. As his mother points out, he has already suffered terribly due to medical neglect while in prison. The Pakistan authorities must put a stop to these plans, which will serve no purpose other than cruelty.”
This report prepared by Reprieve.