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Mother of a disabled convicted on death row urges for forgiveness

ISLAMABAD: The mother of paraplegic prisoner Abdul Basit who is on death row insisted President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday to forgive her son.

Nusrat Perveen said that the president had ordered establishments to stop the execution of her son in January, hours before he was to be hanged. Nonetheless, that halt of execution order has now finished.

After meeting Basit at a prison in the city of Faisalabad, Perveen told The Associated Press that her son had lost a lot of weight and looked undernourished.

“I wept and cried on seeing him in fragile health,” she said. “My son is like a dead man already, do they want to hang a dead man?”

Basit, 43, has been paralysed from the waist down since contracting meningitis in prison in 2010 and uses a wheelchair. He has been on death row since 2009, sentenced of murdering a man in a monetary disagreement.

Jail officials said they were commencing a new procedure to get a death warrant to execute Basit.

The Supreme Court last year said Basit’s execution must obey with the state’s prison rules leading execution ways. Though those rules contain no provisions for the hanging of prisoners in wheelchairs.

Maya Foa, a director at the anti-death penalty NGO Reprieve, articulated apprehension that establishments were now starting to try and execute Basit.

Foa said in a statement that the government has still given no clarification of how it plans to avoid a “horribly botched execution”. She said the international community must immediately call on Hussain to halt “this cruel spectacle”.