Islamabad, Oct 10 (PTI) A groundbreaking 24-hour play showcasing the life of death row prisoners is being staged by Pakistani civil society groups on Wednesday.
The play – titled ‘No Time to Sleep’ – is a collaboration between human rights group Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), the Dawn media group and others, and it depicts a prisoner’s final hours before his imminent execution, JPP said in a statement.
Pakistani actor Sarmad Khoosat is playing the central role of ‘Prisoner Z’ in the play.
The live streaming of the performance began at midnight last night and will end at 11:59 pm on Wednesday to coincide with World Day against the Death Penalty, in solidarity with death row prisoners across the globe.
Set inside a replica of an actual death row cell, Prisoner Z’s journey is being streamed online for the entire duration of World Day Against the Death Penalty.
The play was partially screened at the European Union parliament in Brussels. It was also streamed live at the Houses of Parliament in London.
‘No Time to Sleep’ is based on the life and case history of Zulfiqar Ali who spent 17 years on death row. In that period, his execution was scheduled and stayed more than 20 times.
JPP spokesperson Rimmel Mohydin said the 24-hour play is the first event of its kind in Pakistan, if not the world.
“Tuning in to watch Sarmad was an act of solidarity with prisoners who, like Prisoner Z, have spent years awaiting death. We hope that this performance will have a sobering effect on those who believe the death penalty to be an instrument of justice, when really it is a death trap for those who are too poor to escape it,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.