Singapore: Calls for immediate moratorium on the death penalty sign now

Singapore: Calls for immediate moratorium on the death penalty

No to death penalty! When a court wrongly sentences a person to death, the result is irreversible


Shanmugam Murugesu will be hanged on 13 May 2005 at 6.00 am. The President of Singapore can call for the "Constitutional Court" of 3 judges to sit and study the unfair trial and unequal treatment suffered by Shanmugam. The execution will be stayed until the judges arrive at a conclusion.

Shanmugram Murugesu, a Singaporean, 38, was arrested on the 29 August 2003 at Tuas Checkpoint. A search was conducted on his motorcycle and was found to contain 6 packets of cannabis. After the trial at the High Court in April 2004, he was convicted as charged and sentenced to suffer death. His appeal against conviction and sentence of death was heard in the Court of Appeal on 26/10/2004. The appeal was dismissed.

26 April 2005, Singapore's president rejected the plea for clemency. Shanmugams mother appealed for public help to save her son. His twin sons have plea with the public to help save their fathers life.


* Save the life of Shanmugam and those on the death-row. This cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment has to stop. Shanmugam, and his family plead with fellow Singaporeans and the international community to stop all these cruel hangings. None, he adds, knows the grief of these families and the dependents of those who are executed.

* Express our concern as citizens and residents of Singapore that the death penalty is being used inconsistently with the criteria of absolute necessity and proportionality in relation to drug trafficking cases.

* Call on the government to remove the mandatory capital punishment for simple drug possession. Overcoming social problems and bring criminal masterminds to justice is much more effective then hanging those presumed to be traffickers for simple possession of drugs.


Moratorium on the death penalty:

We believe any humane criminal justice system could not continue to justify the retention of the death penalty based on retribution. The eradication of the supply of the drugs is important but equally important is the alleviation of the social conditions that encourage would-be traffickers or addicts. The socially excluded young and poor are the most affected and drug addictions is also increasing among the young middle-class, drug-related offenders have formed about 55\% of the prison population. Are we assisting the excluded and young to reintegrate into society or are we disposing them off as rejects?

We believe that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on 16 December 1966 refers to the abolition of the death penalty. International documents have restricted and in some cases even banned the death penalty, calling for the abolition of death penalty.

The Singapore government has ignored the UN Special Rapporteurs recommendation of 1996."The Special Rapporteur wishes to reiterate his call on the Government of Singapore to change its Drug Act so as to bring it into line with international standards. The Special Rapporteur considers that the Misuse of Drug Act, which partially shifts the burden of proof to the accused, does not provide sufficient guarantees for the presumption of innocence and may lead to violations of the right to life when the crime of drug trafficking carries a mandatory death sentence."

"An immutable fact remains that the loss of life is irreversible and judicial error irreparable. A wide range of experts in sciences such as criminology, sociology and psychology have expressed doubts concerning the deterrent effect of capital punishment. Therefore, Governments of countries in which the death penalty is still enforced are urged to deploy every effort that could lead to its abolition, the desirability of which has repeatedly been affirmed by the General Assembly."

Think Centre's call to right to life in connection with capital punishment is guided by the desirability of abolition of the death penalty which has been expressed on numerous occasions by the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Committee, the Economic and Social Council and Security Council[ in its resolutions 808 (1993) of 22 February 1993 and 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994]

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 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.

Death penalty is a practice from the past like torture and slavery which must be rejected by all decent human beings. The death penalty is a inhumane, cruel and degrading punishment. The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. Since 1991, the government had hanged to death more then 400 human

We bring to your attention that in Singapore drug trafficking carries a mandatory death sentence and is inconsistent with the criteria of absolute necessity and proportionality. When a court wrongly sentences a person to death, the result is irreversible.

No to death penalty! Give a chance to change! No to death penalty!


Shanmugam's Family received a letter on 9th May 2005 that Shanmugam will be hanged on 13th May 2005.

Think Centre: Reaffirms Call for Moratorium on executions

Singapore finally finds a voice in death row protest


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Blanche JimenezBy:
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The Government of Singapore


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