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

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Malaysia executes Ahmad Najib Aris

Ahmad Najib Aris
Ahmad Najib Aris
The 40-year-old Ahmad Najib Aris who formerly worked as an aircraft cabin cleaner had spent 11 years on death row appealing against his death sentence without success and was hanged about 6am yesterday, after meeting his family for the last time the day before, The Star reported today.

The daily cited an unnamed Kajang Prison spokesman saying he was later buried at the Sungai Kantan Muslim cemetery in Kajang.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla who had previously represented Ahmad Najib described the latter as a "good Muslim" while in jail to the newspaper, adding that prison officials related how he often led other inmates in prayer and taught them about religion.

"To me, at least the time he was in prison, he was a better person than many outside," Mohamed Haniff was quoted saying.

The 2003 murder case that was well-covered by the media sparked a nationwide uproar at that time due to the seemingly random violence perpetrated.

According to past reports, Ong, who was a US-based IT specialist home for a visit, was abducted from the carpark of the Bangsar Shopping Complex on June 13, 2003.

Her charred remains were found in a manhole along Old Klang Road here, several days later.

Forensic tests carried out later showed she had been raped.

Ahmad Najib was subsequently arrested and charged based on the forensic and criminal evidence. He was convicted and given the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan for Ong's rape and the mandatory death penalty for her murder.

In a separate statement, Amnesty International Malaysia which opposed the death penalty, condemned the government for the secret execution of Ahmad Najib.

Its executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu noted that Malaysia is not the only country that provides the capital punishment, but said the authorities should follow international laws and standards and provide sufficient advance notice to convicted killers on death row to enable them to seek further recourse at the national or international level.

"There is no convincing evidence to support the argument that the death penalty prevents crime more effectively than other punishments including life imprisonment. Further, statistics from countries which have abolished the death penalty show that the absence of the death penalty has not resulted in an increase in the crimes previously subject to capital punishment.

"What does hanging Ahmad Najib really achieve?" she asked.

AI Malaysia said Ahmad Najib's execution is only the 4th known to have taken place in the country and suspects there have been more executions conducted secretly.

"Amnesty International Malaysia does not downplay the seriousness of crimes committed, but we urge the authorities to consider introducing more effective crime prevention measures especially when there is overwhelming evidence that proves that the death penalty does not deter crime," Shamini added.

Source: themalaymailonline.com, September 24, 2016

Amnesty condemns execution of man convicted for Canny Ong's murder


Amnesty International condemned the quiet execution of Ahmad Najib Aris, who was hanged Friday after spending 13 years on death row for the rape and murder of Canny Ong Lay Kian.

"The death penalty is never an answer. Hanging a man for murder is not justice, it is revenge.

"We oppose the use of capital punishment regardless of the crime committed," Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said in a statement Friday.

Shamini said that while international law allows for the death penalty to be meted out for the most serious crimes, the lack of transparency on the use of the death penalty in Malaysia raises crucial concerns.

International law and standards require that in countries which have yet to abolish the death penalty, the authorities must ensure that prisoners under the sentence of death and their families are given reasonable advance notice of the scheduled date and time of the executions.

"From Amnesty International Malaysia's experience in dealing with imminent executions, families are only informed between 72 and 24 hours before.

"Also of concern is the authorities deliberately concealing or minimising public scrutiny over imminent executions," she said.

Shamini said transparency in the use of the death penalty is important to avoid aggravating mental trauma of prisoners sentenced to death and is also a critical safeguard against unlawful executions.

"International standards on the use of the death penalty also set out that condemned prisoners and their lawyers be officially informed of the date of execution in sufficient time to take any further recourse available at the national or international level.

"However, we understand that lawyers in Malaysia are not informed of impending executions of their clients as case proceedings would have concluded," she said.

Due to the lack of transparency, Shamini said there were possibility of more executions which have not been disclosed by the authorities.

Shamini added that there is no convincing evidence to support the argument that death penalty can prevent crimes more effectively compared to other punishments including life imprisonment.

"Further, statistics from countries which have abolished the death penalty show that the absence of the death penalty has not resulted in an increase in the crimes previously subject to capital punishment.

"Amnesty International Malaysia does not downplay the seriousness of crimes committed, but we urge the authorities to consider introducing more effective crime prevention measures especially when there is overwhelming evidence that proves that the death penalty does not deter crime," she said.

In 2003, then 27-year-old Ong's charred body was found in a hole, below 2 cement-filled tyres were found 4 days after her kidnap.

Forensic investigation led to the arrest of Ahmad Najib, also 27-years-old at that time, who had raped her before killing her by stabbing her twice.

Source: malaysiakini.com, September 24, 2016

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