Four Malaysian drug convicts face execution after Singapore rejects clemency petitions

PETALING JAYA: Four Malaysians convicted of drug-related offences in Singapore face imminent execution after its president rejected the clemency petitions of up to 10 prisoners over the past week, says Lawyers For Liberty.

Its adviser N. Surendran said in Singapore, the rejection of clemency petition is usually followed soon after by the prisoner's execution.

Hence, he said it is probable that the prisoners will be executed within weeks from now.

Surendran said of the 10 prisoners, the four Malaysians were Datchinamurthy Kataiah, Gobi Avedian, Abdul Helmi Ab Halim and Rahmat.

"The large and sudden number of clemency rejections are unprecedented and shocking. It indicates that Singapore is preparing for an execution binge, in total disregard of international legal norms and decent world opinion.

"Singapore is doing so despite irrefutable evidence that hanging drug mules does not deter drug trafficking syndicates," he said in a statement on Friday (July 12).

Surendran also said he believed that there were more clemency petitions rejected than the information on the 10 prisoners that he has received.

He added that the unusual number of simultaneous clemency rejections raises questions as to whether each prisoner's case was duly considered by its Cabinet and president.

Surendran also claimed that statements made by Singapore's Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam suggested that Malaysian prisoners were being targeted, adding that it also showed that the Singapore government had already decided not to spare any drug offenders from execution.

"This is illegal, as each clemency petition must be considered upon its individual merits," he said.

Surendran urged the Singapore government to halt the executions and to impose a moratorium upon all executions pending a thorough review of all the clemency rejections.

He also called on the government to urgently make necessary representations to Singapore on behalf of the four Malaysians facing imminent execution.

"The Malaysians form the largest group of foreign nationals now facing execution in Changi," he said.

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