Pakistan prison admits it has no instructions for hanging paralysed man

November 23, 2015

A prison source in Pakistan has admitted that they have received no instructions from the government on how they are meant to hang a paralysed prisoner, according to the Telegraph.

Pakistan has scheduled the hanging of Abdul Basit, who has been unable to stand since suffering medical neglect while in prison, for this Wednesday.

The execution had already been stayed twice this year due to concerns that it could lead to prolonged suffering, because the Pakistan Prison Rules do not provide for the hanging of wheelchair users.

However, according to the source in Faisalabad prison, “a letter requesting new instructions for carrying out executions for disabled prisoners had been sent to the interior ministry in September, but…none had been received.”

Basit’s execution had been stayed in September pending amendments to the rules or additional guidance being provided to the Jail. Despite none being received, Basit’s hanging has been rescheduled for Wednesday morning.

Basit contracted meningitis while in prison in 2010, but it took a month for him to be diagnosed and hopsitalised. Due to spinal damage resulting from the disease, he now suffers from paraplegia, and needs to use a wheelchair.

Yesterday, his mother appealed to the authorities to stop his execution from going ahead, saying: “I am unable to understand what the government will get from his execution. My son has already suffered a lot.  His death will do nothing to serve justice and country.”

Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of the death penalty team at international human rights charity Reprieve said: “The Pakistani authorities are gearing up to carry out a deeply inhumane execution on Wednesday. Abdul Basit is paralysed from the waist down due to an illness he contracted in prison, for which he received no proper medical treatment. And now, the prison administration has openly admitted they have no idea how to carry out the hanging. If the Pakistan authorities have any regard for justice or basic human decency, Abdul Basit’s execution must be stopped once and for all.”


Notes to editors

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] / +44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] / +1 917 855 8064.