Hanging of paraplegic prisoner delayed

Rules require condemned to stand on gallows

Hanging Of Paraplegic Prisoner Delayed As Rules Require Condemned Stand On Gallows
The execution of Abdul Basit, a wheelchair-bound prisoner in Pakistan, has been temporarily delayed.

He has received a last-minute execution reprieve because he could not stand on the gallows for the noose to be placed around his neck.

The 43-year-old, who became paralysed after contracting tubercular meningitis in prison, was scheduled to be executed at dawn on Tuesday for a murder that he denied committing.

But although the Supreme Court dismissed his last legal appeal on Monday, the execution was postponed by Faisalbad jail authorities on Tuesday morning, reports The Telegraph.

They acknowledged that as Basit was unable to stand on the gallows, it was impossible to carry out the execution according to prison rules. Experts warned that he could face a particularly grisly death if he was hanged from his wheelchair.

It was not immediately clear if the hanging was just delayed or his case was being reviewed.


Basit's lawyers and international human rights groups had urged the Pakistani president to use his powers to halt the execution after their final defeat in the courts.

He was expected to become the 240th person to be executed after Pakistan lifted a moratorium in response to last December's Peshawar school massacre, when Taliban militants gun down around 130 children.

Critics had said that Basit's execution would have represented a shocking new low in Pakistan's executions policy, breaching the country's ban on 'cruel and inhumane punishment'.

The former administrator at a medical college was convicted in May 2009 of the murder of the uncle of a woman with whom he was allegedly in a relationship. He has always maintained his innocence.