Posts Tagged ‘singapore’

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.

Urgent Action

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.

October/November report (Word)

Tree of Life. Pic: Salisbury Amnesty

UPDATE  The Amnesty death penalty report is now to hand and can be accessed here.

The latest death penalty report is now available thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it.

Note that China remains the world’s leader in executions but the details and statistics are a state secret.

Report (Word)

If you would like to join the local group you would be very welcome.  Keep and eye on this site and on Facebook and Twitter for details of activities and come along and make yourself known.  It is free to join the local group.

The latest death penalty report covering the period 13 January to 9 February is attached and thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  The report notes that many of the countries which feature in the report have close links with the UK as we have described in previous posts.

Death penalty report (pdf)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)