New wave of executions condemned

Press release

(Paris) Singaporean authorities must immediately halt the execution of Prabu N Pathmanathan and Irwan Bin Ali, FIDH said today. Prabu, a 31-year-old Malaysian national, and Irwan, a 43-year-old Singaporean, are scheduled to be executed by hanging on 26 October 2018 at Changi Prison Complex.

FIDH also condemns the secret execution of Selamat Bin Paki, a 56-year-old Singaporean, who was hanged yesterday.

“The secrecy surrounding executions in Singapore shows that the government is well aware that the ongoing use of the death penalty greatly damages the country’s image. Singapore should immediately halt all executions and reinstate its moratorium on the use of the death penalty.”

Adilur Rahman Khan, FIDH Vice President

On 20 October 2016, Singapore’s High Court convicted Selamat of trafficking in a controlled drug after he was found to be in possession of 27.12g of heroin on 23 October 2012. The court later imposed a mandatory death sentence. On 5 March 2018, the Court of Appeal dismissed Selamat’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.

On 28 June 2017, Singapore’s High Court imposed a mandatory death sentence on Prabu for committing several acts preparatory to, and for the purposes of, drug trafficking after 227.82g of heroin were found in a car linked to Prabu that was driven into Singapore on 31 December 2014. Prabu’s family was informed of his execution on 20 October 2018.

On 9 September 2016, Singapore’s High Court sentenced Irwan to death on charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. Irwan was first arrested on 26 April 2012 in possession of 2.5kg of heroin.

FIDH decries the ongoing imposition of death sentences for drug-related offenses in Singapore. International law reserves the death penalty for the “most serious crimes,” a threshold that international jurisprudence has repeatedly stated drug-related offenses do not meet.

If Prabu and Irwan are hanged, they will be the seventh and eighth documented executions in Singapore since the beginning of the year. Singapore carried out eight executions in 2017 and four in 2016. While the government publishes annual statistics on the total number of executions, it consistently fails to make public announcements concerning upcoming hangings and to reveal the number of prisoners on death row.

FIDH reiterates its calls on the Singaporean government to reinstate the moratorium on executions that was lifted in July 2014, and to make progress towards the abolition of capital punishment for all crimes.

FIDH also calls on the Singaporean government to vote in favor of the upcoming UN General Assembly resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, scheduled for December 2018, as well as to sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

FIDH, a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), reiterates its strong opposition to the death penalty for all crimes and in all circumstances.

Press contacts
Mr. Andrea Giorgetta (English) - Tel: +66886117722 (Bangkok)
Ms. Audrey Couprie (French, English) - Tel: +33648059157 (Paris)
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