Do Not Execute Man With Mental Illness

takebackpakistan

Target: Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan

Goal: Accept the mercy petition of a schizophrenic man sentenced to death.

Khizar Hayat, a former police officer convicted of killing another officer, has been sentenced to death–despite the fact that he is a diagnosed schizophrenic and has been on anti-psychotic medication since 2008. International human rights laws clearly prohibit the execution of mentally ill individuals. Sign the petition and urge the president of Pakistan to accept Hayat’s mercy petition, and encourage him to re-establish Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty.

Hayat’s execution has been delayed twice following requests from his lawyers that prison officials respond to the lawyers’ contention that Hayat is unfit to be executed due to his mental state. Prison officials admit that Hayat is mentally ill and requires medication, although they maintain that he is “partially stable” when medicated. So far, no independent medical evaluation of Hayat has been ordered.

The situation is all the more tragic given the fact that, until quite recently, Pakistan had established and maintained a moratorium on the death penalty. Following a 2014 Taliban attack on a school, the death penalty was re-established as a way to punish terrorism. It was subsequently re-established for all capital crimes.

The death penalty is cruel, inhumane, and degrading, the ultimate human rights violation. Pakistan had already decided against it; why bring it back now? And why use it on a man whose lawyers have demonstrated is not mentally sound?

The execution of Khizar Hayat must not be allowed to go forward. Sign the petition and urge the president to commute Hayat’s sentence and re-establish Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty.

PETITION LETTER:

Your Excellency,

I am writing to urge you to accept the mercy petition of Khizar Hayat. Hayat is schizophrenic, and executing him would violate a slew of international human rights regulations. In addition, I encourage you to re-establish Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty and instead pursue actions that are humane and respectful of human rights.

Hayat’s lawyers have argued that their client is not mentally sound enough to justify an execution; international human rights law forbids the execution of mentally ill prisoners. Officials at Central Jail in Lahore have confirmed that Hayat has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and is on anti-psychotic medication; however, they contend that Hayat is “partially stable” when he is on his medication. No independent medical evaluation of Hayat has been ordered or undertaken.

Until recently, Hayat’s imminent execution would not have been an issue, given Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty. While I understand the immense pressures that must have led to the decision to reinstate the death penalty, I urge you to find alternative solutions to capital punishment, which is degrading, inhumane, and cruel.

Please reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to finding alternatives to the death penalty, starting with the acceptance of Khizat Hayat’s mercy petition.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: takebackpakistan

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