WEB DESK: A disabled murder convict was given a fourth stay of execution late Tuesday just hours before he was due to be hanged, as rights activists slammed Islamabad for a executions spree on track to see 300 deaths in under a year.
Abdul Basit, a paraplegic who was convicted of murder in 2009, was scheduled to be hung early Wednesday. His execution has already been harrowingly postponed several times after rights groups raised concerns about how a wheelchair-bound man would mount the scaffold.
The presidency issued a statement late Tuesday saying the execution had been delayed for two months while President Mamnoon Hussain ordered an inquiry into Basit’s medical condition. The statement said the president had vowed that “human rights will be upheld”.
“We are very happy to hear the TV news that (the) president of Pakistan has stayed the execution,” Basit’s mother Nusrat Parveen told AFP in response to the last minute delay. “We also got confirmation from a jail staff,” she said, adding that the family hoped the stay would be extended beyond two months. Earlier, Basit’s sister Asma Mazhar had issued a plea to the president to spare her brother.