The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia has condemned Singapore for the execution of 29-year-old Malaysian Prabagaran Srivijayan who was hanged this morning after being convicted for importing 22.24 grams of diamorphine – a raw form of heroin – into Singapore in 2014.
Prabagaran was executed after the Court of Appeals rejected an eleventh hour motion to delay the execution, under the basis that an appeal Prabagaran’s lawyer had submitted to halt the execution was still pending at the Court of Appeal in Kuala Lumpur.
In dismissing the motion yesterday, Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Tay Yong Kwang called the attempt “an abuse of process” before stating:
“The judiciary of each country is entitled to act in accordance with its Constitution and its laws. No judiciary of one country interferes in the judicial process of another country.”
The UN office said on it’s Facebook page:
“We deeply regret that so far in 2017, there have been at least four executions in Singapore for drugs related offences. This is an increase on previous full-year statistics. According to Singapore Prison authorities, there were two executions for drugs related offences in 2014, three in 2015 and two in 2016.
“We are concerned that death row inmates and their families are given very short notice of the date of the scheduled execution. In most cases they have been notified only a few days in advance. We are also concerned that executions continue to be carried out in a secretive manner, with no public information on the number of people on death row in Singapore and little public information on the executions that have taken place.
“We reiterate our position that drugs related offences are not considered as a ‘most serious crime’ under international law and should not carry the death penalty. We also reiterate previous calls to the Singaporean government to immediately instate a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which we believe has no place in the 21st century.”
Prabagaran’s mother has maintained that her son was innocent.
A widow, she has repeatedly stated that the car that her son was driving did not belong to him and that he did not even know there were drugs in the car until he was stopped at Woodland Checkpoint in 2012:
“They could not find his fingerprints on the drugs, or that he had consumed any but the judge ruled him guilty by stating that the car belonged to him,”
To mark the 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty, CADPA asks you all to share 'Madam Eswari’s story’. Madam Eswari’s son risks execution in 2017. We must act now! #EndCrimeNotLife
Posted by End Crime Not Life – CADPA on Saturday, 8 October 2016
Meanwhile, despite the doubts that have been cast upon the legitimacy of Prabagaran’s conviction, some netizens have lauded the Singapore justice system for not budging from their position of sentencing Prabagaran to an irreversible fate, as a job “well done”: