UPDATE: Kho Jabing was hanged at 3.30pm today (20 May).
Sarawakian Kho Jabing, 31, was found guilty of killing a Chinese construction worker with a tree branch in 2008 during a robbery attempt. He was sentenced to death in 2010. Kho’s sister, Jumai Kho said on 13 May that she received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on Thursday (12 May) that the execution was scheduled for May 20.
Following revisions to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty laws, the East Malaysian’s sentence handed down in 2010 was revised by the the High Court. It sentenced him to life and 24 strokes of the cane instead. The Attorney General’s Office challenged the decision before the Court of Appeal, which subsequently sentenced Jabing to death in a 3-2 majority decision earlier this year.
One High Court judge and two Judges of Appeal had not believed that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for Jabing Kho, as they felt that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that he had exhibited a “blatant disregard for human life”.
The execution scheduled for 6am today (20 May) was postponed after a stay of execution was granted just hours before he was scheduled to be hanged. Lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss filed an application for a stay of execution for Jabing on Thursday morning. When this was dismissed by the court on 19 May, Ms Chong-Aruldoss appealed against the decision and a hearing was set to be heard at 9am today at the Court of Appeal.
This afternoon, the Court of Appeal again dismissed Jabing’s appeal for a stay of execution. According to anti-death penalty activists, Jabing’s family has received news that he will be executed today.
Commenting on the unprecedented rush to condemn Jabing so soon after the Court ruling human rights lawyer M Ravi said: “This is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment to hang him on the same day the court dismisses a case. This falls short of international human rights law. and must be first of its kind. Singapore breaks new grounds for the wrong reasons and this inhumane actions must be denounced internationally.”
The international community, including the United Nations and the European Union have condemned the decision to send the Sarawakian to the gallows.
Former political detainee Teo Soh Lung has appealed to Singaporeans who feel that the Singapore Government should choose mercy over condemnation to write to the President of Singapore to grant clemency to Kho Jabing.
Members of the public can write to the President at these email addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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