ISLAMABAD: Amnesty International Friday protested on ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court that said schizophrenia is “not a permanent mental disorder”, in a decision that paves the way for execution of a mentally ill man.
Lawyers and rights groups say convicted murderer Imdad Ali, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia while in prison in 2012, cannot be executed as he cannot understand his crime and punishment.
However in a detailed judgement issued Thursday the Supreme Court said schizophrenia was an “imbalance”, exacerbated by stress, that could be treated by drugs.
Therefore it was a “recoverable disease” and not a mental disorder, according to the ruling.
As such, it could not be used to delay Ali’s death sentence, which now could go ahead as early as next week.
Death penalty and military courts were reestablished in Pakistan courts after suffering its deadliest-ever extremist attack, when gunmen stormed a school in the northwest in 2014 and killed more than 150 people — mostly children.
Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but later extended to all capital offences, with over 400 people hung from more than 8,000 death row prisoners. -AFP