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UN calls on the Singapore Government to halt the execution of Kho Jabing

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The following is a press release by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Regional Office for South-East Asia/

We urgently call on the Singapore Government to halt the execution of Malaysian national Kho Jabing, who is due to be hanged on Friday.
Kho, 31, has endured years of immense suffering on death row as his sentence has been changed several times.
Kho was sentenced to death in 2010 for murder. At the time, a mandatory death penalty applied to all cases of murder in Singapore. In 2012, Singapore amended legislation regarding the mandatory use of the death penalty and his sentence was changed to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. However, Kho’s death sentence was reinstated in January 2015 by the Court of Appeal. In November 2015, Kho was granted a temporary stay of execution less than 24 hours before he was due to be hanged. On 5 April, his death sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Despite several appeals by the UN Human Rights Office and civil society groups, Singapore said Kho would be hanged on 20 May 2016. During Singapore’s human rights review in Geneva in January, several states called on the Government to abolish the death penalty. Singapore has yet to respond to the recommendations.
We call on the Singapore Government to immediately take steps to establish a moratorium on the death penalty as part of a process toward the full abolishment of capital punishment.
More than 160 Members States of the United Nations with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it. In South-East Asia, only Cambodia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines have fully abolished the death penalty.
For more information on the death penalty in South-East Asia, view our publication entitled “Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Lessons in South-East Asia”.

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