Pak­istan to ex­e­cute para­plegic man within days, says fam­ily

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD: Pak­istan’s only para­plegic death-row in­mate will be ex­e­cuted in the com­ing days at a high-se­cu­rity prison in the in­dus­trial city of Faisal­abad, his mother and an in­ter­na­tional rights group said yes­ter­day.

Ab­dul Ba­sit, 43, has been par­a­lyzed from the waist down and uses a wheel­chair since con­tract­ing menin­gi­tis in prison in 2010. Ac­cord­ing to his lawyer and fam­ily, he has been on death row since 2009 af­ter be­ing con­victed of killing a man over a fi­nan­cial dis­pute in Pun­jab prov­ince.

yes­ter­day, Ba­sit’s mother Nus­rat Perveen said jail of­fi­cials asked her to have a fi­nal meet­ing with her son on Tues­day be­fore he is hanged the fol­low­ing morn­ing. “I am in a state of shock. I ap­peal to the pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter of Pak­istan to par­don my son on med­i­cal and hu­man­i­tar­ian grounds,” she told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The de­ci­sion has been widely con­demned by rights groups. “It is be­wil­der­ing that Pak­istan has re­vived its ap­palling plans to hang a man who is un­able to stand,” said Maya Foa, di­rec­tor of the death penalty team at Re­prieve, an in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Noth­ing has changed since Ba­sit’s ex­e­cu­tion was halted ear­lier this year, on the grounds that his dis­abil­ity could mean that he might suf­fer from a pro­longed, need­lessly cruel ex­e­cu­tion,” she said.

Sara Be­lal, a lawyer at the Jus­tice Project Pak­istan le­gal aid group, also con­demned the de­ci­sion to once again sched­ule Ba­sit for ex­e­cu­tion. Ba­sit’s mother said she sent a mercy pe­ti­tion to the pres­i­dent weeks ago to par­don her son but re­ceived no re­ply. “In Septem­ber, jail of­fi­cials were tak­ing my son to­ward the gal­lows on his wheel­chair when his ex­e­cu­tion was halted on med­i­cal grounds,” she said.

Perveen said she saw rope scars on the wrists of her son when she met with him a week af­ter the halt­ing of his ex­e­cu­tion. “I am again wait­ing for a mir­a­cle to hap­pen,” she said.

Pak­istan’s pres­i­dent has the con­sti­tu­tional author­ity to par­don any con­victed per­son. Pak­istan has hanged nearly 300 peo­ple, most of them con­victed crim­i­nals and not Tale­ban or other in­sur­gents, since it lifted a 2008 mora­to­rium on ex­e­cu­tions in De­cem­ber af­ter a deadly Tale­ban at­tack on a school killed 150 peo­ple, mostly chil­dren. — AP

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