Malaysian citizen Kalwant Singh a/l Jogindar Singh has been scheduled to hang next Thursday, 7 July at Singapore’s notorious Changi prison.
He was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 October 2013 for allegedly trafficking in 60.15g of diamorphine.
Kalwant was only 23 when he was arrested and has always maintained he never knew that the bundles he was carrying were drugs. He was still convicted mainly on the testimony of a co-accused person.
Kalwant is unfortunately next on the long list of Malaysians whom Singapore has slated for the gallows despite a barrage of criticisms it has received from the international community for its ruthless executions of low-level drug mules.
The imposition of the death penalty on drug crimes has been declared by the UN to be in violation of international law and amounts to unlawful killing. Malaysia has taken positive steps towards its eventual abolition, with the long-standing moratorium and now the government’s undertaking to abolish the mandatory death penalty. Singapore, however, in contradiction to prevailing international norms, continues with its execution barrage.
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The death penalty is an archaic and brutal form of punishment that does not deter serious crime; it is irreversible and the ultimate denial of human rights. Continuing to hang drug mules while knowing full well that drug mules are easily replaceable by drug kingpins shows that Singapore prefers the illusion of taking action instead of actually resolving the illicit drug trade in the region.
Lawyers for Liberty strongly urges the government of Singapore to comply with international law and halt the hanging of Kalwant Singh and to review its imposition of the death penalty for drug crimes.
At the same time, Lawyers for Liberty also urges the Malaysian government to make urgent representations to Singapore to save our citizen from the gallows. – LfL
Zaid Malek is director of Lawyers for Liberty
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We must realise that drug mules become drug mules with their eyes wide open. Surely they are not ignorant of Singapore’s tough drug laws?
If they are ready to take the risk, they have nobody to blame but themselves when caught and sentenced to be hanged.
We must educate Malaysians on the dangers of drug smuggling and highlight Singapore’s tough drug laws.
Frankly, publicly castigating Singapore will only harden its resolve on its handling of drug cases. No country wishes to be seen as giving way to foreign pressure.