"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

AI Malaysia Pleads To Singapore President To Commute Sarawakian's Death Sentence

Singapore's Changi prison
Singapore's Changi prison
Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia is pleading to the Singapore President to commute Sarawak labourer Jabing Kho's death sentence to life imprisonment.

Its executive director Shamini Darshni said Jabing had exhausted all his legal processes.

"We are appealing to President of Singapore, Tony Tan to please not execute Jabing.

"We are asking that their death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment," she said at the National Launch of Amnesty International's Death Sentences and Executions 2015 report this morning, adding that the death penalty was proven to be an ineffective deterrent when it came to crimes.

Shamini said she understood that there had been some communication between the Malaysian government and Singaporean government on the issue but was unsure on the status of talks.

However, she hoped that the government would be able to step in and save Jabing.

She said her colleague, AI campaigner Gwen Lee had been in touch with the Singaporean non-governmental organisation Second Chances, who is working on the case, and Jabing's sister Jumai Kho.

The 31-year old Sarawakian was convicted of murder in Singapore 6 years ago when he was found guilty of murdering a Chinese citizen in the republic in 2010.

His appeal to overturn his death sentence failed on Tuesday when a 5-judge panel decided against the appeal due to lack of material that was compelling to justify review of the case.

Source: malaysiandigest.com, April 6, 2016

UN Human Rights Office concerned by ongoing use of death penalty in Singapore

Kho Jabing
Kho Jabing
The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) is concerned by the Singapore Court of Appeal's decision on Tuesday to uphold the death sentence given to Kho Jabing of Malaysia and urges the Government to immediately establish a moratorium on capital punishment.

"We are gravely concerned that Mr. Kho is at imminent risk of hanging as the court has lifted the stay of execution," said Laurent Meillan, OHCHR's acting regional representative in Bangkok. "We are also concerned that he has been forced to endure years of immense suffering as his sentence has been changed on a number of occasions."

Mr. Kho, 31, was sentenced to death in 2010 after being found guilty of murder. At the time, a mandatory death penalty applied to all cases of murder in Singapore. Following a change in the legislation in 2012 which now gives judges the option of giving a life term for murders where there is 'no intention to cause death', he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane in 2013.

In January 2015, the Court of Appeal decided to re-impose the death penalty. The following November, Mr. Kho was granted a temporary stay of execution less than 24 hours before he was due to be hanged as a result of an appeal by his lawyer.

The UN Human Rights Office calls on the Singapore Government not to carry out Mr. Kho's execution.

OHCHR's Regional Office welcomes the Government's decision to apply legislative changes to sentences related to some cases of murder and certain categories of drug trafficking. Media reports have said at least 5 people - 1 convicted of murder and 4 others with drug trafficking - have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

"While we are encouraged by the recent positive steps, we call on the Government to pursue more comprehensive death penalty reforms with the ultimate aim of abolishing the death penalty altogether," said Meillan.

The UN Human Rights Office said it was also concerned that 4 individuals were executed in Singapore in 2015 - 1 for murder and the others for drug-related offences - which is a sharp increase from previous years. Singapore executed 2 people in 2014 and there were no executions during the de facto moratorium from 2011 to 2013. These statistics were released in Singapore Prison Service's annual report this February.

Several States called on Singapore to abolish the death penalty during its human rights review in Geneva in January 2016.

Source: theonlinecitizen.com, April 6, 2016

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