UN law firm calls for stay of execution in Singapore for Malaysian nationals


The executions of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam and Datchinamurthy Kataiah are imminent, the UN law firm said in a statement, before pointing to an “alarming acceleration of execution reports” in Singapore since the beginning of the year.

OHCHR spokesman Ravina Shamdasani said Mr Dharmalingam was arrested in 2009 and convicted of drug trafficking.

His family was informed last week that he would be executed next Wednesday.

Multiple appeals alleging he had an intellectual disability were rejected and requests for clemency deniedexplains Mrs. Shamdasani.

The second inmate to be executed, Mr Kataiah, was arrested and convicted in 2011 on charges of smuggling diamorphine into Singapore. Last week, his family received word that he would be executed on Friday.

Death row inmates

After a hiatus of more than two years, Singapore executed Abdul Kahar bin Othman on March 30, following his conviction for drug-related offences.

Today, at least three other men found guilty of drug-related offenses face the death penalty, the OHCHR has warned, identifying them as Roslan bin Bakar, Rosman bin Abdullah and Pannir Selvam Pranthaman.

In addition, more than 50 people are reportedly on death row in Singapore.

Abolitionist Momentum

According to the UN Human Rights Committee, about 170 states have abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty, both in law and in practice.

Despite this growing trend, the UN-appointed independent panel stated that a small number of countries have retained executions, primarily because of their belief that they deter crime. A few states also still allow the death penalty for crimes other than those of extreme seriousness involving willful murder, including for drug or terrorism-related charges, the Committee said.

“More needs to be done,” the website said, saying the universal abolition of the death penalty is “necessary for the advancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights”.

Such a move would be consistent with the resolutions of the General Assembly, like-minded member states, civil society, UN special procedures mandates and others who have campaigned for a moratorium on the death penalty and ultimately its global abolition, it said. out of the committee.

Incompatible with international law

Following on from that message, Ms. Shamdasani urged that: Sentencing people to death for drug-related crimes was “incompatible with international human rights law”adding that countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty may impose it only for the “serious crimes”, which are usually interpreted as crimes of extreme seriousness involving intentional murder.

commutation call

We urge Singapore authorities to immediately halt implementation plansto consider award [Mr.] Dharmalingham and [Mr.] Kataiah’s leniency, and to commute their sentences to prison terms,” ​​Ms Shamdasani said.

OHCHR also urged Singaporean authorities to review its longstanding stance on the death penalty, citing “increasing evidence demonstrating its ineffectiveness as a deterrent”, and to consider a moratorium pending such a review. on all death sentences.

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