NGOs appeal to Singapore to spare Malaysian on death row

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) appealed to the Singapore government on Tuesday (Jan 24) to spare a Malaysian man who is on death row for drug trafficking.

Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM), Lawyers for Liberty and Suaram met a representative of the High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, where they conveyed their concerns over supposedly unfair trial of 30-year-old S. Prabagaran.

"We have sent appeal letters to Singapore's President and Prime Minister and hope the two leaders will hear our calls for Prabagaran to be spared the death penalty," said AIM executive director D. Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu.

She added that the NGOs are reiterating calls for Singapore to review its death penalty laws once again to abolish the death penalty in its entirety.

Prabagaran is currently awaiting the result of a clemency petition to the Singapore President.

The clemency request was sent in February last year, with its result due anytime soon, according to lawyers.

Singapore has not granted a clemency request for the past 13 years.

Prabagaran's 54-year-old mother V. Eswary also applied to the Malaysian High Court to compel the Government here to take his case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Eswary sent a memorandum to the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore to refer the case to the ICJ on Dec 21 last year, but there has been no response.

Prabagaran was arrested at the Woodlands checkpoint in April 2012 for possession of 22.24g of heroin, which were found in a black bundle in the centre arm-rest console of the car he was driving.

He had said that he borrowed the car from a friend to enter Singapore that day because he was afraid that his motorcycle would be repossessed.