Singapore, Apr 28 (EFE).- Singapore’s Supreme Court temporarily suspended the Friday execution of a Malaysian citizen convicted of drug trafficking after another prisoner was executed a day earlier for the same crime despite protests, according to Amnesty International.
Datchinamurthy Kataiah defended himself in court as no lawyer wanted to represent him for fear of reprisals from the semi-authoritarian regime, Amnesty and Malaysian lawyer and activist N. Surendran said on Twitter.
The temporary stay of execution comes a day after Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 34, who had an intellectual disability, was hanged – Singapore’s method of capital punishment.
This characteristic of the prisoner fueled the controversy inside and outside the country about his execution in a country with a semi-authoritarian regime that barely reports executions – most of them drug traffickers – and censors controversial issues in the press.
At least 300 people gathered Monday in Singapore’s Hong Lim Park – the only place where the government allows protests – to call for a stay of execution for Nagen and Kataiah.
The case prompted the European Union to call Wednesday on Singapore to end the death penalty after its delegation to the city-state had earlier called for Nagaenthran’s sentence to be reviewed.
For its part, the United Nations Human Rights Office urged the Singapore government Monday to stop the executions of both.
The authorities of Singapore, a country in which high levels of development coexist with brutal and archaic practices, said executions are necessary to deter drug use, without data to support it, and that they are supported by the majority of its citizens. EFE