PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) is now urging Singapore to drop all charges against human rights lawyer M. Ravi, who is representing a Malaysian on death row for drug trafficking.
"We condemn this high-handed action against Ravi and demand that Singapore drop all charges against him. We further demand that Singapore cease and desist from further threatening or interfering with the lawyers of the Malaysian death row prisoners.
"We also urge the Malaysian government to make urgent representations to Singapore in protest against the continual persecution and threats against the lawyers of Malaysian death row prisoners," said LFL advisor N. Surendran (pic).
Surendran claimed that Ravi, who is representing Malaysian Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, was served with a notice of action by the Singapore attorney general for allegedly "prejudicing the administration of justice" over a statement issued in Malaysia during a press conference on July 23.
"The AG has filed a complaint on those grounds to the Singapore Law Society, which is likely to result in Ravi being barred from legal practice.
"In addition, contempt of court charges may also be brought against Ravi," said Surendran in a press statement on Tuesday (Aug 20).
Surendran claimed that Singapore is notorious for prosecuting those who criticise its death penalty sentence that allegedly targets drug mules.
As an example, Surendran said British author Alan Shadrake was jailed in 2010 for criticising the death sentence in Singapore.
"For courageously defending a mentally-impaired Malaysian citizen, Ravin now stands to lose his license to practice law."
Surendran also claimed that Malaysians are being targeted by Singapore for conviction and executions as drug mules.
He quoted Singapore Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugan as saying in May that the government "will not go easy on Malaysian drug offenders".
"It is shocking that not only are Malaysians being targeted, but they are also being denied legal representation."
Surendran subsequently alleged that the Singaporean government had threatened to take action against him as an instructing solicitor for Malaysian prisoners in Changi over a "trumped up charge of scandalising their judiciary".
"Similarly, they are now persecuting Ravi, who is internationally known for his relentless advocacy on behalf of death row prisoners and against the death penalty," he said.