The Singapore Ant-Death Penalty activists are pulling all stops to save the life of a convict currently on death row, Prabagaran A/L Srivijayan (Praba).
Praba (age: 29) a Malaysian citizen was arrested on 12 April 2012 when he was just twenty-four years old, for a narcotic trafficking offence. He has been on death row for more than 4 years since 2012, and is awaiting the result of his clemency petition to the Singapore President.
The activists led by human rights advocate M Ravi allege that Praba is being deprived of his life in a manner that is in breach of the principles of the separation of powers, the fundamental rules of natural justice, and the rule of law.
“In respect of a person who has been convicted of a drug offence that is punishable with death under the Second Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), Section 33B(2)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) provides that the Public Prosecutor may certify that a person convicted of a drug offence punishable with the death penalty has substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in disrupting drug activities. If the Public Prosecutor so certifies, and if the offender is also merely a courier, then the sentencing judge has the discretion to impose life imprisonment in lieu of the death penalty. If the Public Prosecutor does not so certify, then the sentencing judge must sentence the offender to the death penalty.
As discussed above, although in this case Praba has maintained his innocence, he has, in fact, done his best to provide CNB with credible leads that could well have resulted in persons involved in drug activities (i.e., Balu and Nathan) being apprehended.”
The activists argue that the right to a fair trial is one of the most important fundamental human rights and that the death sentence imposed on Praba violates the right to fair trial under customary international law.
The activists said “the Public Prosecutor’s determination of whether or not substantive assistance was provided is too fluid and unstable a standard by which to determine the penalty which an offender should receive.”
They further strongly suggested that the matter should compel the Malaysian government to lodge a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and urged the Malaysian government to safeguard the life of its own citizen who is facing impending death.
The activists also urged the Malaysian government to consider several factors including the irreversibility of the death penalty and make submissions to ICJ without delay.
“In light of the punishment’s irreversibility, the very limited time available may not be enough for preparing submissions to the ICJ. Therefore, if a submission to the ICJ is to be ultimately made, that submission should ideally be made as soon as possible.”
In speaking to this publication, the activists say that Praba is likely to be executed by the State in the third week of January, and that they hope to address the Malaysian parliament in the special press conference area on this issue in early January.