Insane convict’s execution halted in Pakistan

Lahore, July 26 (IANS) A Pakistan court halted execution of a “mentally-ill” condemned prisoner and sought a report from the prisons department by July 30, a media report said on Sunday.

Khizar Hayat was a police constable and arrested for killing a fellow policeman. He was arrested in 2001 and a trial court awarded him death sentence in 2003, Dawn reported.

His execution was halted on Saturday by a district and sessions judge who had earlier issued death warrants for him for July 28.

The order came in the wake of the convict’s mother, Iqbal Bano, filing a stay application through Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a non-governmental organisation working for prisoners’ rights.

JPP’s counsel Sara Belal told the judge that the jail authorities in 2008 had diagnosed that Hayat, 41, had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Stating that national and international laws did not permit hanging of insane people, the counsel asked the court to set aside death warrants and stop the execution of the petitioner’s son.

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