Singapore — Lawyer M Ravi and human rights group Amnesty International are making last-minute efforts to stop the scheduled execution of a convicted drug trafficker on Friday (Sept 18).
Mr Ravi, who received a letter from Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin, 44, on Tuesday (Sept 15) and took the case pro-bono, posted it on Facebook. He wrote that the only thing “Suhail and my team have is HOPE”, adding later in his post, “Hope is the foundation that humanity rests its faith upon”.
Just received this moving letter from Suhail to visit him in prison. I will be visiting him on an urgent basis at 3pm at…
Suhail’s handwritten note read:
“Mr M Ravi, I heard you could help. Come see me.”
The lawyer had found out about the case from a friend of Suhail, who told him about the imminent execution. Mr Ravi wrote: “Suhail has been sentenced to death for drug trafficking. Attached is a letter to arrange a funeral for someone who is still alive.”
He added that “Suhail is a victim of his own addiction which is a medical condition”, and called for a “better response than imposing death penalty on Suhail”.
On Wednesday (Sept 16), the lawyer filed a Judicial Review application in the High Court for a stay the execution. He wrote that “an emergency hearing is being fixed before a High Court tomorrow morning”.
Mr Ravi wrote in the application that the direction to execute Suhail “violates his right to equality guaranteed under Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore because the Singapore Prison Service has effected a differential treatment between foreigners and Singaporeans in carrying out the death sentence as the execution of foreigners has been halted due to the Covid-19 situation”.
As i was in High Court this morning arguing a death penalty case on account of miscarriage of justice, i was informed…
The human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement on its website, also called for a stop to the execution.
Suhail was arrested on Aug 3, 2011 and later found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking of 38.84 grams of diamorphine.
The ruling in his case said that he had been unable to prove that the drugs in his possession were for consumption, as he had been in financial straits at that time. According to court documents, Suhail had also sold a S$5,700 packet of heroin to someone else.
He was convicted and sentenced to death. /TISG