21 Apr 2005

Video Recording of a Death Penalty Appeal in Singapore

"Singapore is believed to have the highest per capita rate of executions in the world. Official information about the use of the death penalty is shrouded in secrecy. There is virtually no public debate about the death penalty in Singapore."

- Amnesty International

On the afternoon of April 16 2005, a tiny conference room at the Asia Hotel in Singapore played host to a standing-room audience of about 100 people. They had come to participate in the island republic's first ever forum to address the issue of the death penalty in the country.

Six Singaporean activists spoke at the event, touching on topics such as the lack of safegurads in the judicial system, Singapore Government's investment in companies owned by Burmese druglord Lo Hsing Han and the need to provide social and emotional support to families of death-row prisoners. Also present on the panel but whom the Singapore Government did not allow to speak was a representative from Amnesty International.

Central to the forum was an urgent appeal for clemency by the mother and sons of 34 year old Shanmugum Murugesu, a citizen of Singapore, who has been convicted of trafficking in cannabis and is due to be hanged in the early weeks of May 2005. His only hope for life rests now on a clemency appeal to the President of Singapore.

This is a video documentation of the day's event and it contains scenes rarely seen and heard in Singapore.


The video has two segments. The running time for the first segment is about 60 minutes and the second about 15 minutes. There are both low-resolution and high-resolution files available for each of them. (It requires a longer time and more disk space to download the high-resolution files)

First, right-click on the link and 'Save Target As...' into your computer. After that, double-click on the saved item in order to play on RealPlayer.
RealPlayer - 10.3MBhere.
Or, RealPlayer - 9.56MBhere.

Death Penalty Forum (approx 60 minutes), Low Resolution, 33.4MB:

Death Penalty Forum (approx 60 minutes), High Resolution, 220.6MB:

Clemency Appeal at the Istana Presidential House (approx 15 minutes) Low Resolution, 23.0MB:

Clemency Appeal at the Istana Presidential House (approx 15 minutes) High Resolution, 87.2MB:

The webpage containing the links for the above video can also
be found here

If you view this before May 2005, please write, fax or email President SR Nathan of Singapore to plead for the clemency of Shanmugum Murugesu at

President SR Nathan
Istana, Orchard Road 238832
Republic of Singapore

Tel : 65-68355325
Fax : 65-67353135
Email : s_r_nathan@istana.gov.sg


Below are links to articles relating to the forum and to the appeal of Shanmugum Murugesu.

Twins campaign to free father from Singapore death row

Death-row detainee Shanmugam: 2 hanged and there are 8 more


A death-row man's plea

The silence about the death penalty is deafening

Letters of appeal for Shanmugam

Singapore bans human rights expert from speaking at public forum on death penalty

Singapore government defends judicial system

Home Affairs Ministry reply pathetic: OSC

Amnesty urges Singapore to halt executions

Burma-Singapore Axis: Globalising the Heroin Trade

Singapore's blood money
Hanging drug couriers but investing with their suppliers


Beach-yi said...

Why did the police came to the forum and checked the coordinator's IC???

soci said...

I don't know, they might just have wanted to let others see that they were present and watching them.

Or is it a joke...

Why did the police come tothe forum and check the coordinators IC?

Thought she was a foreign subversive westerner.

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