We are pleased to attach the monthly death penalty report compiled by group member Lesley. USA features strongly in this report with a range of events going on in that country. Note that China – the world’s largest executioner of its citizens – does not feature because statistics and details are a state secret.
Singapore executes Nagaenthran Dharmalingam today
Despite international protests, the Singapore government executed by hanging Nagaenthran Dharmalingam – a man with an intellectual disability – today (27 April 2022). He was convicted in 2009 for importing 42.7 g (1.5 oz) of diamorphine (heroin) and sentenced to death under the states draconian anti-drug laws. The decision to execute someone with an intellectual disability is especially abhorrent. This is the second execution in Singapore in a month with a third scheduled for Friday 29th.
Asia-Pacific Amnesty director Erwin van der Borght said:
The execution of Nagaenthran is a disgraceful act by the Singapore government – ruthlessly carried out despite extensive protests in Singapore and Malaysia and an outcry across the world.Amnesty International, 27 April 2022
The Singapore government justifies the use of the death penalty because of its alleged deterrent effect on drug related problems. Critics point out there is no evidence to support this claim.
Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. Read our latest death penalty report.
We are pleased to attach our monthly death penalty report for March – April 2022 thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it. Singapore features quite strongly this month. Note that Chiana, which is believed to execute more of its citizens than the rest of the world combined, does not feature as details are a state secret.
Fury at decision to execute man with learning disabilities
In the early hours of yesterday morning (29 March) morning, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a man with intellectual disabilities on death row in Singapore, lost his fight in court against his execution. The courts may have rejected his appeal, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong could still save him. Nagen still needs this community to keep fighting for a life-saving pardon. The decision has received world wide condemnation. Singapore does not have a favourable human rights record and uses repressive laws against political opponents and human rights defenders. Human Rights Watch describes the country’s political environment at ‘overwhelmingly repressive’ with severe restrictions on free expression, association and assembly.
Nagaenthran claims he was coerced into carrying a package of heroin but that he was unaware of the contents. The UN has said the sentence is disproportionate and no allowance had been made by the authorities for his disabilities. His IQ is said to be 69.
In the 48 hours before his hearing, over 4,000 people made their voices heard and tweeted Lee Hsien Loong asking for Nagen to be spared. Only the Singaporean government can save him now, should they decide to show compassion and grant him a pardon that will spare his life.
Because of your support, Nagen is not standing alone in his fight for his life. For details and how you can help follow this link to the Reprieve site.
We include a link to a video of an interesting talk by Kirsten Han on the subject of the death penalty in Singapore.
Sources: Amnesty; Guardian; Reprieve; Human Rights Watch.
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.
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.
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.
The authorities of Singapore have set the execution of Malaysian national Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam for 10 November. In violation of international law and standards, he was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty after he was found guilty of transporting 42.72 grams of diamorphine in April 2009. Several medical experts have found him to have borderline intellectual functioning and cognitive deficits, which might have impacted his ability assess risks and his accounts of the circumstances of the offence.
Full details are available from this link. If you can find time to make contact as suggested it would be appreciated.
Here is the latest death penalty report compiled by group member Lesley – thanks for your efforts on this. There is no data on China – believed to execute more of its citizens than the rest of the world together – as it is a state secret.