Singapore execution deferred

Amnesty calls for execution of man with intellectual disability to be ended

Update 30 November

The 30 November appeal hearing has been postponed. Ahead of the appeal hearing before the planned execution of Malaysian national Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, Amnesty International’s Singapore Researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard said:

“Singapore authorities must listen to the global outcry against executing Nagaenthran, whose case has shocked people around the world.  This appeal hearing provides an opportunity to call off this horrific punishment against a man who may not fully understand what is happening to him.

“Nagaenthran’s case has been marred by multiple human rights violations including deep concerns about Nagaenthran’s intellectual disability, which UN experts have stressed would render his execution unlawful. Recent testimony from his family and lawyer about his current mental health condition reinforces these concerns.

“Singapore must act now to avoid a stain on its international reputation by commuting Nagaenthran’s sentence, and avoiding another case like this by urgently reforming its use of the death penalty, and introducing a moratorium on executions as first steps towards full abolition of this cruel punishment.”


Lawyers for Nagaenthran made an application to Singapore’s High Court seeking a stay on the ground that executing him would be unconstitutional in light of his intellectual disability. This application was dismissed, but his lawyers were able to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

The hearing was postponed after Nagaenthran tested positive for COVID-19 on 9 November, was rescheduled for 30 November, and has now been postponed again. The next date has yet to be confirmed. If appeals are unsuccessful, a stay will be lifted and the execution will proceed, possibly in a matter of days.

Nagaenthran was convicted and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty in November 2010 for importing 42.72 grams of diamorphine (heroin) into the island state in April 2009. His conviction and death sentence have so far been upheld on appeal.

Medical experts who have assessed Nagaenthran found that his cognitive deficits may have contributed towards his diminished responsibility when carrying out his offence. In recent weeks, Nagaenthran’s youngest brother has expressed deep concerns about his brother’s mental state and incomplete understanding of his imminent execution when he was able to visit him in prison.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. As of today, 108 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and more than two-thirds are abolitionist in law or practice.

Iran: execution

Iran is one of the world’s major countries for executing its citizens often after inadequate trials and the use of torture. We learned today that the execution has taken place in Iran of Arman Abdolali.  This is the young man for whom Amnesty have campaigned recently.  Now aged 25, he was sentenced to death as a child following his conviction for murder in a trial that was grossly unfair and included confessions obtained through torture.  International condemnation led to his execution being halted twice – most recently on 16th October – but he has now been executed under the ‘qisas’ laws allowing the victim’s family to request ‘an eye for an eye’ justice.

Human rights group in Russia under threat

International Memorial is under threat of being dissolved

International Memorial – full name International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society is under threat of being dissolved by the Russian authorities. Based in Moscow, The Society investigates some of the terrible tragedies under the Soviet era and those being committed by the Russian government today.

We have today added a link to their website in the list of sites at the bottom of this site.

Nine problems with the asylum system that Priti Patel can’t blame on anyone else — Page Array – Free Movement

Priti Patel has Been Very Clear that the problems in the asylum system are other people’s fault (including me and my “activist lawyer” colleagues) and that her Package Of New Measures will sort them out. But what do the government’s own experts think? Well, yesterday the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration released a…

Nine problems with the asylum system that Priti Patel can’t blame on anyone else — Page Array – Free Movement

This is a republished post.

Write for Rights

Two signings planned

We shall be holding our Write for Rights signings in two locations this year: the first time we have done this. The first will be 5th December in the Cathedral Cloisters and the second on 11th in St Thomas’s. We do not have the times yet so keep an eye out on this site – or Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr – for more details once known. Almost certainly in the mornings. We hope you can come along and sign.

For people abroad, feel free to send us your desire to be listed and we will copy your name in.

China: Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Circulate Open Letter to Shanghai Authorities Appealing for Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan to Receive a Full Physical Examination and Emergency Medical Treatment — IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

15/11/21 To the directors of the Shanghai Municipal Justice Bureau and Shanghai Women’s Prison: We, as citizens, as friends of Zhang Zhan (张展), and as people who admire her sense of conscience, have been concerned about the deteriorating state of her health. We are deeply concerned to have learned that Zhang Zhan’s older brother recently […]

China: Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Circulate Open Letter to Shanghai Authorities Appealing for Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan to Receive a Full Physical Examination and Emergency Medical Treatment — IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

Monthly Death Penalty report

We attach the death penalty report for mid October to mid November thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it. We are delighted to include the news of Ali Al Nimr’s release from prison in Saudi. Ali was the subject of a world wide campaign and members of the Salisbury group also campaigned on his behalf.

Singapore execution: latest


Nagaenthran was scheduled to be executed today (10 November 2021). The stay of execution he has been granted has been made indefinite, but it is NOT permanent.

The most recent information we have been able to find is in today’s Guardian. Mr Dharmalingam, who has learning difficulties and whose case led to a huge international outcry, was due to have his appeal heard yesterday (9th), but he had tested positive for Covid and so the appeal was adjourned, and the stay of execution ordered. 

Amnesty and Reprieve have taken up his case, and will no doubt let us know when we need to take further action.

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