Rights group: Pakistan shouldn’t execute mentally ill man

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A rights group has urged the Pakistani government not to execute a prisoner with “clear symptoms of mental illness” scheduled to be hanged in two days.

Sarah Belal, executive director of Justice Project Pakistan, which campaigns against the death penalty, said Saturday that the government must halt the execution of Ghulam Abbas, 36, for further evaluation.

Citing a prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Malik Hussain Mubbashar, the statement says Abbas’ medical records show he’s being treated with strong anti-psychotic drugs by prison authorities and has a family history of mental illness.

Abbas was sentenced to death in 2006 for fatally stabbing a neighbour in 2004. His execution is scheduled for Tuesday in the city of Rawalpindi.

Pakistan is a signatory to international conventions that bar the execution of mentally ill prisoners.

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