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Lahore: Doctors’ board confirms death row prisoner suffers from ‘chronic schizophrenia’

LAHORE: A medical board informed Lahore sessions court that a death penalty prisoner who was previously scheduled to be hanged was suffering from chronic schizophrenia, which required regular medical treatment.

The medical board was constituted on the orders of the sessions court about the health condition of Saleem Ahmad 50, who was sentenced to death for killing his sister. Saleem Ahmed was scheduled to be hanged on November 7 in 2017.

The black warrant, however, had later suspended on a petition filed by the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP). It argued that the death row prisoner was mentally unwell so as he could not be executed. The court had then ordered formation of a doctors’ board to inquire about his mental health.

The report of the board was presented in the court. The report says, his protracted psychiatric illness and hallucinations, require regular medical treatment.”

While appearing before the court for testimony, a consultant psychiatrist at Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH) in Lahore, ascertained the medical board’s findings and suggested that the patient presently imprisoned at the Kot Lakhpat Jail, be admitted to PIMH for treatment, a press statement of the JPP said.

The hearing of the case adjourned till December 6.

Death penalty convict Saleem was arrested in Lahore on July 30, 2001, for killing his sister, Nasreen Begum, after she allegedly refused to lend him money.

He was sentenced to death in 2004 and was on death row for 18 years.

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