Pakistan postpones hanging of disabled Abdul Basit
Sept.22, Islamabad: Pakistani government postponed the scheduled execution of Abdul Basit, who is paralyzed from the waist down. The execution was scheduled for Tuesday.
Basit, 43, could not be hanged in compliance with the jail manual because he is in a wheelchair, a magistrate said when ordering the postponement.
The prison guidelines of Pakistan require that a prisoner stand on the gallows.
Rights groups have said that hanging a handicapped person would constitute cruel and degrading treatment.
Basit’s execution was earlier scheduled for July 29. On July 28, the Lahore High Court accepted a petition challenging Basit’s execution on the basis that it would constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, contravening Pakistan’s prison rules and violating Basit’s fundamental rights under Pakistan’s constitution and international law.
On September 1, the Lahore High Court dismissed Basit’s petition, ruling that since the hanging of a paralyzed prisoner was not expressly forbidden by the prison rules, there was no bar to the execution.
The Pakistani government has executed 236 people this year, making Pakistan responsible for the largest number of reported executions in the world in 2015. Despite government claims that the death penalty is necessary to confront terrorism, only a small percentage of those executed were linked to militancy
The Oslo Times