More than a thousand women have signed a mercy petition and appealed to the president to spare the life of a mentally ill, female convict on humanitarian grounds.
Death row prisoner, Kaneezan Bibi currently confined in Mental Hospital, Lahore suffers from serious physical and mental ailments, human rights activist and Supreme Court advocate Asma Jahangir said on behalf of the applicant.
The petition, addressed to President Asif Ali Zardari, pointed out that under the United Nations Guidelines of Restrictions and Safeguards for Death Penalty, it is strictly prohibited to execute people suffering mentally.
“It is therefore respectfully prayed that the President of Pakistan may use his prerogative under Article 45 of the Constitution and grant pardon to the female victim so that her sentence of death may be commuted in view of her fragile condition,” the petition stated.
Kaneezan Bibi was was sentenced to suffer death and fine of Rs120,000, Additional District Judge Mujahid Hussain Sheikh of Toba Tek Singh on January 7, 1991.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.