9 May 2005

Singapore rejects last-ditch appeals

marijuana trafficker to hang Friday
A Singapore man has failed in his last-ditch appeal to avoid being hanged for marijuana trafficking, a civil rights group said on Monday.

Shanmugam Murugesu, 38, received a mandatory death sentence last year after he was caught returning by motorcycle from neighboring Malaysia in August 2003 with one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of marijuana.

"The family of Shanmugam Murugesu received a letter today (Monday) that he will be hanged" early Friday morning, the Think Center civil rights group said in a statement.

Murugesu's children, with the help of their lawyer, pleaded for clemency from the President. It was rejected earlier this month.

Opposition and civic groups had launched a last-minute campaign to save Murugesu. His twin 14-year-old sons, who will become orphaned if Murugesu dies, have been handing out fliers, asking Singaporeans to help save their father.

The Think Center was organizing a vigil for Murugesu on Thursday evening.

Last week, London-based rights group Amnesty International launched an urgent appeal on his behalf.

Amnesty International claims Singapore has the world's highest per capita rate of executions.

In its 2004 annual report, the group said executions in Singapore are "shrouded in secrecy." Singapore rejected the report, saying it was full of "misrepresentations and distortions."

Of 138 people hanged in Singapore in the five years ending January 2004, 110 were convicted of drug offenses, according to the country's Central Narcotics Bureau.

Six death row inmates have been granted clemency since Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965, the Straits Times newspaper said Monday .

Under Singaporean law, anyone possessing more than 500 grams (17.64 ounces) of marijuana is presumed to be trafficking and faces death if found guilty.

Singapore's government _ often accused by international critics of civil rights abuses and draconian punishments, such as lashing some criminals across the bare buttocks with a rattan cane _ says its strict laws have helped make it one of Asia's safest, most stable and most prosperous countries.



From The Think Centre...
09 May 2005 by Sinapan Samydorai
The family of Shanmugam Murugesu received a letter today that he will be hanged the coming Friday 13th May 2005. Think Centre calls on our government, the members of parliament, to abandon the use of death penalty.

Let us rise above our feelings of fear and vengeance to seek solutions to drug trafficking and crimes that reflect human dignity and promote justice for all. We call on our government, the members of parliament, to abandon the use of death penalty.

----------------------------
Shanmugam Murugesu will be hanged: 13 May 2005

Think Centre calls for "Silent Vigil" coming Thursday evening, 12 May 2005, at 8 pm, wherever you are for Shanmugam and those on the death-row.


----------------------------


Joint Press briefing: Shanmugam Murugesu facing death sentence is it fair & just?
Date: Tomorrow 10th May 2005 Time: 3 pm - 4 pm
Venue: Oxford Hotel
218 Queen Street, Singapore 188549. Tel: 6332 2222


Jointly Organized by Think Centre & M. Ravi
----------------------------
When a court wrongly sentences a person to death,the result is irreversible.

Shanmugam Murugesu is facing the death sentence. Is it fair and just? Is it fair and just to presume a person quilty from the moment of arrest? Are there loopholes in the Misuse of Drugs Act that could result in the execution of an innocent person? Will the President Convene the Constitutional Court?

The death penalty is an act of vengeance that is detrimental to building a civilized society, and demeaning to all of us as citizens. Based on numerous studies, Criminologists agree that the death penalty has no deterrence value. Why then sentences a man to hang for possession of drugs? Is death penalty consistant and appropriate for possession of drugs?

Let us rise above our feelings of fear and vengeance to seek solutions to drug trafficking and crimes that reflect human dignity and promote justice for all. We call on our government, the members of parliament, to abandon the use of death penalty.

In the interim, we endorse a moratorium on the death penalty in Singapore as a fair and moral regarding the death penalty. It gives a chance to re-examine both the purpose of the penalty and its perceived effectiveness, and can save the lives of the condemned.

A sentence of life in prison for the most serious offenses would keep us just as safe. We could offer more help and guidance to troubled kids before they turn to drugs and crime. Instead of investing foolishly in vengeance, we ought to be investing wisely in humanityand human dignity.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

my god...

1 kg of marijuana = a human's life?

thats not justifiable. thats a overkill. thats barbaric.

Anonymous said...

funny thing. Tunisian-french expat, caught for cocaine ring, first got away from death penalty based on a technicality on the purity of the cocaine. He then gets bail. He then jumps bail. As i recall, anyone on bail, passport gets held.

Anonymous said...

Fantastice blog you got here, I will deffinitely be back to see the updates you have made. I have a website that you might find interesting. It pretty much covers
real estate listing

real estate listing

Rex said...

Well done!
[url=http://euheykan.com/izcp/wruf.html]My homepage[/url] | [url=http://zlctpirw.com/qcqq/egqn.html]Cool site[/url]

Mary said...

Well done!
My homepage | Please visit

Sherry said...

Well done!
http://euheykan.com/izcp/wruf.html | http://ghbyiqmo.com/fmmf/bihe.html