August 19, 2022

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S'poreans maintain candlelight vigil for intellectually-disabled M'sian on dying row

34-year-old Malaysian, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, has been on dying row in Singapore for greater than a...

34-year-old Malaysian, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, has been on dying row in Singapore for greater than a decade. His crime? Trafficking 42.7 grams of heroin into town state. The punishment for his crime is in itself not shocking (irrespective of how disappointing), contemplating Singapore’s archaic narcotics legal guidelines.

Nonetheless, Dharmalingam additionally has an mental incapacity, with an IQ of 69 – sufficient grounds to be acknowledged as intellectually-disabled, particularly for his age.

Candlelight vigil as a type of protest.

IMAGE: Edgar Su / Reuters

The Malaysian misplaced his ultimate attraction towards the execution in March 2022, which means he is out of choices, with the one approach ahead being the gallows – as a result of sure, Singapore hangs individuals who violate its drug legal guidelines.

Roughly 300 Singaporeans converged in a neighborhood park on April 25 to carry a candlelight vigil for Dharmalingam, protesting towards his deliberate hanging, which is scheduled to happen on April 27, 2022.

Members of the vigil made speeches, supplied their prayers, and even carried out musical performances, calling for the abolishment of the dying penalty. One participant known as it “pointless” and “outdated”, including that it primarily impacts the poor and ethnic minorities.

IMAGE: Edgar Su / Reuters

Based on the Singaporean authorities, nevertheless, the dying penalty acts as a superb deterrent towards drug trafficking, claiming that almost all of Singaporeans assist capital punishment.

Human rights activists and excessive profile figures disagree.

British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and actor/author Stephen Fry have each come out to point out their assist for Dharmalingam. They’ve despatched out a robust plea to the Singaporean authorities to spare the person’s life, contemplating his mental incapacity.

Branson posted a video on Twitter that includes each himself and Fry, straight addressing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob, urging for a presidential pardon:

“Solely a presidential pardon can cease his govt, and I am becoming a member of many around the globe in asking you to make use of your powers to grant Nagen clemency,” Branson says. “Singapore has at all times led from the entrance in the case of the rights of individuals with disabilities and championing their inclusion in society.”

Fry then provides that Dharmalingam’s execution would “solid a darkish shadow on lots of these commitments”, including that shifting ahead with the hanging would solely danger damaging Singapore’s popularity, together with on the planet of enterprise.

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Cowl picture sourced from AFP / New Straits Occasions and Edgar Su / Reuters.