Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled that schizophrenia is not a “mental disorder” while putting the final in the coffin of Imdad Ali who has been sentenced to death over the murder of a priest in 2002.
Imdad, 50, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and psychosis and according to the doctors, that impaired his rational thinking and the ability to take decisions and was also declared clinically insane in 2013, reports Independent. On Thursday, the Court sentenced him death for the murder. The ruling came in response to the final appeal filed by his wife. The court believes that his illness is not a permanent condition and varies according to the “level of stress.”
Maya Foa, director of UK-based legal charity Reprieve, told the Independent that it is “outrageous” for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to claim that schizophrenia is not a mental illness and “flies in the face of accepted medical knowledge, including Pakistan’s own mental health laws.”
Foa added that Pakistan’s President need to urgently intervene to stop Imdad’s execution. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights office has called on the government to halt Imdad’s execution and launch a re-trial. It added that the Court has “disregarded” medical reports and that ruling for a death penalty in this case is “unlawful” and is equivalent to an arbitrary execution.