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Pakistan To Execute Mentally Ill Man On Jan. 17

PHOTOGRAPH: Twitter/JusticeProject_ | Resized image of Khizer Hayat taken from Twitter/JusticeProject_

Pakistan does not recognize schizophrenia as a legit mental disorder. This is because the illness does not fall under the country’s legal definition of a mental disorder. As a result, it is going to execute Khizer Hayat on January 17. The move comes after the United Nations appealed to the country to protect its mentally unwell inmates. It had even singled out Hayat, a man, suffering from psychosis and schizophrenia when imploring Pakistan’s government to do so.

However, despite the appeal, District Judge Nazir Ahmed Gajana issued the death warrant on Wednesday. It comes 13 years after authorities arrested Hayat, a police officer, for killing his colleague. The decision came amid protests by NGOs and rights groups. Hayat was arrested in 2003 for shooting his colleague. However, the country had a moratorium on executions at the time. But with that lifted after the Peshawar school attack, Hayat’s fate now seems to be sealed.

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which represents the mentally unwell police officer, is shocked by the court’s decision. Hence, it has already filed an appeal against the order, states an article in Daily Mail. According to JPP, Hayat’s lawyer had challenged the death penalty earlier, in 2015 in light of his mental illness. However, their efforts did not yield the results JPP was hoping for.

As a result, the district judge granted a warrant immediately after the Lahore jail authorities filed for it. An article in Al Jazeera quotes the JPP spokesperson Rimmel Mohydin saying that executing a mentally ill person shows that the country’s citizen’s fundamental rights are not not in sync with international rights. Despite this, JPP is not giving up on Hayat. JPP has challenged Wednesday’s court order. Mohydin added that JPP is hopeful of the next hearing.

Who is Khizer Hayat?

Hayat is a 55-year-old police officer. He shot his colleague in 2003 and has since been behind the bars. An article in DNA adds that the 55-year-old underwent thorough medical checkup and examination at the Punjab Institute of Mental Health last year. The examination concluded that he suffered from psychosis and schizophrenia. These findings are similar to the Pakistan’s government doctors duiagnosis of Hayat’s mental condition.

They had diagnosed him as a schizophrenic way back in 2008. The mentally unwell prisoner is now heavily drugged and under solitary confinement most of the time, after facing attacks by fellow inmates. However, that has not stopped the authorities from scheduling his execution.

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About the author

Nandini loves to write about everything happening right now especially TV shows, movies, celebrities, business and news. When she is not writing, she is either reading, shopping online or watching a movie.