Two weeks have passed since we spoke to human rights lawyer M Ravi on the progress of assistance to Singaporeans Aslinda and Cher Wei Hon, both sentenced to death for drug trafficking — Aslinda in China and Cher in Vietnam.
Mr Ravi has fresh updates on how Aslinda is doing.
And he has good news — he has managed to get in contact with pro bono lawyers in Hong Kong and Shanghai to help her.
He has, however, not been as successful in his attempts to get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share any information and documents it has on the case.
Siti Aslinda binte Junaidi and her boyfriend, Mohd Yusri bin Mohd Yusoff, were arrested in Shenzhen, China, in October 2015 for drug trafficking.
The pair had been stopped by customs officials.
A search of their luggage revealed 28 women’s handbags containing more than 11 kg (24 pounds) of methamphetamines stitched into the lining. The drugs were worth about S$292,000.
However, both denied any knowledge of the drugs.
During the trial, Aslinda told the court that she had met a man online called Chibuzor Onwuka, who offered her commissions to transport goods from China to Cambodia.
About once or twice a month, she would pick up goods in Guangzhou and take them with her by plane to Phnom Penh. These goods were typically items like women’s lingerie, handbags and toner cartridges.
Mr Ravi has hope, sharing that Aslinda can have her case reviewed by the court in Guangdong and, after that, by the Supreme Court of China.
Her boyfriend Yusri’s death sentence has been suspended for two years and there is a chance it will be downgraded to life imprisonment.
Aslinda was deemed to have played a more active role in the crime and her sentence has not been suspended.
It was reported at the end of last year that Aslinda was set to be executed in two weeks.
As for Cher, Mr Ravi has submitted a clemency petition to the Vietnamese President and arranged for lawyers to help him — at much lower fees. /TISG
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