Crime & Justice

Singapore suspends execution of mentally disabled Malaysian man

Bangkok, Nov 8 (EFE).- A court in Singapore on Monday suspended the execution of a Malaysian inmate with intellectual disabilities until an appeal filed by the defense is heard.

In April 2009, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was arrested for smuggling 42.72 grams of heroin into Singapore and was sentenced to death a year later.

“The High Court has just ordered a stay of execution pending the hearing of the appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court,” lawyer Ravi M. Ravi wrote on Facebook, giving no further details.

The decision will see the 33-year-old defendant temporarily avoid execution by hanging on Wednesday following a psychological evaluation that proved he suffers from a moderate intellectual disability and mental issues including low IQ and adult Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Last week, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob wrote to his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, seeking clemency for Dharmalingam and asking for a second presidential pardon, after an initial one was denied in June 2020.

Amnesty International sent a letter Wednesday to Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob to intervene immediately to stop the execution.

“We urge the authorities to immediately halt plans to execute Nagaenthran. There are grave concerns that there have been multiple violations of international human rights in his case, from the mandatory death penalty to its imposition for drug-related offenses and concerns on the fairness of the proceedings, which would render his execution unlawful,” Amnesty International said.

Singapore carried out its last executions in 2019, after hanging four inmates, including two for committing drug-related crimes, according to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). EFE


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