Supreme Court to hear death-row prisoner on January 14

Islamabad: The Supreme Court has approved for hearing an appeal against the death sentence of Khizar Hayat, a policeman suffering from schizophrenia.

Hayat is set to become the first person to be executed in Pakistan in 2019. His execution has been scheduled for January 15.

Justice Manzoor Malik will head a two-member bench that will hear the appeal on January 14.

The petitioner, Iqbal Bano, Hayat’s mother, has requested that his death sentence be stopped.

A divisional bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed on December 6 Bano’s petition for her son to be shifted to a mental health facility.

The Justice Project Pakistan has also issued a statement against Hayat’s death warrant. It says it’s against the orders of the National Commission for Human Rights.

The commission began an inquiry into Hayat’s case in November 2016 on the Justice Project’s complaint.

Hayat was first diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2008 by jail authorities. He suffers from delusions and has to be heavily medicated. He has no idea how long he has been in jail, does not know why he is on death row and believes that the medication he is taking are anti-malarial pills. A court-sanctioned examination at the Punjab Institute of Mental Health in July 2016 concluded unanimously that Hayat suffers from ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’.

He was sentenced to death in 2003 for fatally shooting a fellow police officer and has spent nearly 16 years on death row. During the course of his incarceration, he has faced numerous severe near-fatal attacks by fellow inmates as a result of his mental illness. Since 2012, he has been kept in solitary confinement.