Latest: Singapore single mother awaits death row in Malaysia for drug trafficking. On the pretext of a business trip to China, Iqah was handed a suitcase containing heroin arranged by her Nigerian boyfriend and was arrested by Malaysian Immigration. A campaign is underway to raise funds for the appeal. To find out more, read

We have also heard that since Vui Kong's appeal started, there has been an unofficial stay of execution for all prisoners on death row in Changi Prison, pending the decision of the court on Yong's case. As the case has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, we anticipate a Changi gallows bloodbath in a scale not seen since the Pulau Senang uprising in 1965 when 18 men were convicted of murder and hanged in a single Friday morning.

Singapore, which routinely persecute dissenters and critics, continue to hang young drug runners while at the same time work closely with Burmese military generals, and has invested billions in business ties with Burma, one of the biggest heroin manufacturing countries the world.


If you know someone who's charged in a capital case, received the death sentence, or is on death row in Singapore and if you have have your side of the story to tell, contact us at sgdeathpenalty [at]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

116 drug offenders nabbed in island—wide operations

CNA: 116 drug offenders nabbed in island—wide operations

SINGAPORE: Narcotics officers have nabbed 116 drug offenders in two major operations carried out island—wide over three days.
Eleven were arrested for suspected drug trafficking and 105 for suspected drug consumption.
Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers also seized drugs with a total estimated street value of S$83,700.
In the first operation carried out on 10 and 11 August, they arrested nine people who were suspected of trafficking drugs at various locations.
CNB officers also arrested 105 suspected drug abusers and those wanted for drug—related offences at various locations around Singapore including Clementi, Sengkang, Bukit Merah and North Bridge Road.
The arrests led to a seizure of various drugs, including about 44 grammes of Ice and 32 grammes of heroin, with a total street value of S$16,200.
In the morning of 12 August, CNB launched another major operation targeting a suspected drug distributor operating in the eastern part of Singapore.
Officers tailed the 41—year—old Singaporean from Ang Mo Kio where he met up with his accomplice.
They were then tailed to Bedok where they were arrested by CNB officers.
Two bundles of heroin were found in their vehicle. The heroin weighed about 450 grammes and its street value was over S$67,500.
The two men will be investigated for the offence of drug trafficking under the Misuse of Drugs Act and may face the death penalty if convicted.
— CNA/al

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Man charged for murder in Robinson Road building fire

Yahoo: Man charged for murder in Robinson Road building fire

A 66-year-old man has been charged on Friday with the murder of a woman whose badly-burnt body was found following the Afro Asia Building fire on Wednesday morning.
Govindasamy Nallaiah is accused of killing Low Foong Meng, 56, in an office belonging to law firm, B Rengarajoo & Associates, reported Channel NewsAsia.
The building fire is believed to have started in the law firm, located on the sixth floor, and was contained within it.
It is believed that Govindasamy was a client of the firm. The firm is run by Low's partner, lawyer Rengarajoo Balasamy, whom she lived with. She also worked at the firm.

Govindasamy is now remanded at the Central Police Division and will be back in court on 19 August.

If convicted of murder, he will face the death penalty.
The Indian man was arrested at 10,50 pm on Wednesday in Jurong. The arrest was made 13 hours after the fire at law firm B Rengarajoo & Associates was reported.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force found Low's body on Wednesday after the fire was put out. There were no injuries reported otherwise.
The SCDF said it was alerted to the fire at the seven-storey building at 63 Robinson Road at 10 am. Some 20 fire fighters were deployed to the affected unit to put out the fire.
The fire was confined to a unit measuring about 30 by 20 metres and did not spread to adjacent units, said SCDF. Officers took half an hour to control the fire and another half an hour to extinguish it.
Several vehicles were sent to the scene, including fire engines, four Red Rhinos, an ambulance and four support vehicles. Jet sprays were used outside the building to prevent the fire from spreading.
A support vehicle that was sent to help fight the fire experienced a glitch as its mechanical arm, used to lift firemen, stalled. SCDF said this did not hamper operations as officers could still get to the affected unit and bring the fire under control.
Officers from Central Police Division and the Criminal Investigation Department’s Special Investigation Section were at the scene to conduct investigations while officers from CID’s Forensic Management Branch and scientists from the Health Sciences Authority were present to gather forensic evidence.
Occupants, who just went through a fire drill last week, evacuated on their own prior to SCDF's arrival.
Those whom Yahoo! Singapore spoke to said the couple have been working at the building for some 20 years.
Insurance agent Joyce Ng, 52, who works on the fifth floor, described Rengarajoo as friendly and helpful.
Other building occupants said they started noticing the smell of gas at about 9:30am and saw smoke on the sixth floor 20 minutes later. Building security evacuated the occupants and the process was cool and calm, they said.
This is the first time the building, one of the oldest in the area, caught fire, they said.
The building which was upgraded just three months ago is managed by Afro Asia Shipping Company (Pte Ltd).
The cause of fire and the death is under investigation.
For further enquiries on the matter, the public may call the police hotline at 1800-5471818.
- Additional reporting by Liyana Low

Monday, July 18, 2011

Singaporean woman faces death penalty for murder

SINGAPORE - A 36-year-old Singaporean woman was arrested on Monday night in connection with the suspected murder of a property agent, whose highly decomposed body was found last Tuesday evening in bushes off Clementi Road.

Forensic tests have established the identity of the body to be Ms Celine Ng Swee Peng, 37, who had been missing since her birthday on May 26.

The suspect, who was arrested at about 11pm at East Coast Park, is believed to be Ms Ng's housemate in a two-bedroom apartment in Clementi. The suspect will be charged in court today with murder, which carries the death penalty.

According to a report published in The New Paper last month, Ms Ng had been drinking with her friends in her apartment on the eve of her birthday, when she spoke about going for a short holiday overseas.

The following day, Ms Ng, who apparently had her mobile phone and passport with her, was nowhere to be found. Her parents, older brother and her housemate reported the fact that Ms Ng was missing to the police on May 28.

In the report, Ms Ng's housemate described her as having a "very close relationship with her mum". "She wouldn't be away for so many days without contacting her mum. We're so worried that something may have happened to her," the housemate was quoted as saying.

Yesterday evening, the suspect led police investigators to West Coast Park, where they spent about an hour trawling through some bushes, purportedly looking for Ms Ng's personal belongings and to gather evidence. The bushes were even chopped down but MediaCorp understands nothing was recovered from the spot.

The suspect, who was cuffed on her wrists and ankles, kept her head bowed most of the time.

At least one execution since Vui Kong's appeal

The Singapore Prison Service has published figures on judicial execution in its Annual Report for 2010 which can be found here.

While there were no executions last year, according to lawyer M. Ravi, who has taken several high profile drug trafficking cases involving convicts sentenced to the gallows, there are at least thirty prisoners on death row at Changi prison, and at least one has been executed in March this year. The man, who went by the name "Ah Hock" was singled out for hanging, for unknown reasons, and which has not been explained by the prison.

There are no official figures available on the number of people on death row following the unofficial stay of execution when Vui Kong first contested his conviction in the Supreme Court on December 2009.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Death in 6 paragraphs: Foong Chee Peng

The following is a High Court judgment on 28 April 2011, involving the appellant, 45 year old Singaporean Fong Chee Peng. He was sentenced to death after pleading guilty of possession of heroin for the intention of selling it. In a brief judgment, all of 6 paragraphs, Justice Choo Han Teck sentenced him to the gallows.

28 April 2011

Choo Han Teck J:

1       On 30 September 2009 at about 4.03pm, officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau (“CNB”) broke down the door to a flat known as #01-04, Sunshine Grove at 2 Jalan Labu Merah. The flat had two bedrooms. The accused, Foong Chee Peng, was arrested in the master bedroom. His sister, Foong Siew Found, was arrested in the second bedroom. She was not charged for the drugs found in the flat. The accused was, however, charged for trafficking in 40.23g of diamorphine contained in thirty-six packets, two straws, and one container found in his room. The charge was preferred under s 5(1)(a) read with s 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed). It carries the death penalty under s 33 of the said Act.

2       After the charge was read to the accused, he informed the court that he wished to plead guilty. I asked that the Prosecution proceed with the evidence, and marked the Prosecution’s Opening Address as an exhibit as the accused indicated that he accepted the case against him contained therein.

3       The CNB officers searched the master bedroom which was occupied by the accused and found the drugs which were the subject matter of the charge. Station Inspector Ng Tze Chiang Tony (“SI Ng”) (PW9) recorded a contemporaneous statement from the accused by communicating with him in Mandarin. This statement consisted of a series of questions and answers. SI Ng recorded the questions and answers in English and translated them into Mandarin save for the answer to question number 3 which the CNB interpreter, Wong Png Leong (PW22), subsequently translated. In this statement, the accused acknowledged that the substances seized were, inter alia, heroin (viz, diamorphine) and that they belonged to him for the purposes of sale to others.

4       The accused was also served with the Notice of Caution and a statement was recorded pursuant to s 122(6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68, 1985 Rev Ed). He admitted that there was no threat, inducement or promise made to him when he stated in the s 122(6) statement that “the things belong to me and got nothing to do with my younger sister” [sic]. By “things” the accused must be referring to the drugs referred to in the charge that was read to him to which his cautioned statement was made in response.

5       The forensic officers testified to the nature and weight of the drugs seized and they conformed to the charge. Consequently, I called upon the accused to rebut the prosecution case. After the standard allocution was read to him, he informed the court that he elected to remain silent and had no evidence to adduce.

6       Reviewing the evidence, I was satisfied that the prosecution had made out a case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and I thus found the accused guilty as charged and convicted him accordingly.

Malaysian woman to hang for 21.48g heroin

Malaysian Roshamima Roslan
A Malaysian couple who were due to get married drove into Singapore two years ago with 21.48g of heroin bundles in their car.

The pair were caught, charged and put on trial.

On Friday, the High Court acquitted Mas Swan Adnan, 27, but sent his fiancee Roshamima Roslan, 24, to the gallows for trafficking in 15g or more of the drug.

In his judgment yesterday, Justice Steven Chong said the prosecution had to prove that the two of them knew exactly what sort of drugs they were bringing into Singapore.

Justice Chong said the evidence showed, however, that Mas Swan believed his girlfriend when she told him that the bundles contained Ecstasy pills.

Roshamima's claim was not believable, the judge said, adding that the prosecution proved that she knew that illicit drugs were hidden in their car when they entered Singapore.

When Roshamima was put on the stand, she failed to give testimony that she believed the bundles to contain drugs other than heroin.

In fact, she gave all kinds of explanations when confronted with objective evidence such as text messages; four times, she changed her story of whom she and Mas Swan were supposed to meet the day they were caught.

Her fiance, on the other hand, had consistently stated in his police statements and in court that he believed the bundles contained Ecstasy pills that he was delivering for a Singaporean man known only as Mickey.

Justice Chong said Mas Swan came across as a 'mild-mannered and somewhat timid' person who followed Roshamima's instructions, and that she was the 'assertive and dominant personality'.

The court heard that Roshamima was a drug smuggler before he became one, and that it was she who co-opted him into the trafficking ring.

In short, she played a larger role in the delivery of drugs, noted Justice Chong.

Mas Swan was not immediately released from custody. Prosecutors told the court there would be a lapse of time before he can go free; it is not known how long this will be.

On the night of May 6, 2009, the couple had driven into Singapore through the Woodlands checkpoint.

When an immigration officer scanned Mas Swan's passport, he was immediately alerted to that name being on the blacklist.

The officer then directed Mas Swan to drive to an inspection pit, where a manual search of the interior and undercarriage of the car turned up nothing incriminating.

However, an X-ray scan detected three dark spots in the front left door panel. When the panel was opened, three bundles wrapped in tape were retrieved.

The couple were immediately arrested.

The contents of the bundles were later analysed and found to contain 21.48g of heroin.

Source: The Straits Times, 30 April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Urgent Appeal to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (Yong Vui Kong)

Joint submission by Mr. M Ravi and Harm Reduction International, 28 April 2011

For Yong Vui Kong (Full background story) 

I. Identity of the person concerned:

1. Family name:

2. First name:
Vui Kong

3. Sex: _ male __ female

4. Birth date or age:
19 January 1988 (23 years old)

5. Nationalit(ies):

6. Civil status (single, married, etc.):

8. Profession and/or activity (e.g. trade union, political, religious, humanitarian/solidarity/human rights, etc.)

9. Address of usual residence:
Originally from: Sandakan Malaysia

Currently resides:
Changi Prison
11 Jalan Awan

10. Is there a link to other cases/ persons? Please specify:
  • Singapore: (Urgent Appeal) Death sentence of Thiru Selvam, Communication from the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to the Government of Singapore, 18 July 2001 (E/CN.4/2002/74/Add.2)

  • Singapore: (Urgent Appeal) Death sentences of Mohammed Afzal Khan and Mohammed Ali Hashim, Communication from the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to the Government of Singapore, 8 January 2002 (E/CN.4/2003/3/Add.1)

  • Singapore: (Urgent Appeal) Death Sentence of Nguyen Tuong Van, Communication from the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to Singapore, 15 March 2005 (E/CN.4/2006/53/Add.1)

  • Statement of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Government of Singapore's planned execution of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, 25 January 2007 (HR/07/9)

II. Information regarding the incident:

1. Date:
On 14 November 2008 Mr. Yong was convicted by the High Court of a charge under s 5(1)(a) and punishable under s 33 of the Misuse of Drugs Act – which prescribes a mandatory death penalty for certain categories of drug offences. The accused was convicted of trafficking in 47.27 grams of diamorphine and was sentenced to death.

2. Place:
1 Supreme Court Lane
Singapore 178879

4. The nature of the incident: Please describe the circumstances of the incident, including the following categories:

X (a) death penalty, or fair trial guarantees, please detail (unfair laws or proceedings, charges, eventual appeals, execution is imminent, etc.)

(b) imminent violation of the right to life is feared (death threats, imminent expulsion or refoulement leading to a life-threatening situation, etc.), please detail.

(c) others (death in custody, death during an armed conflict, death due to excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, death due to attacks by security forces of State, paramilitary or private forces, breach of obligation to investigate, etc.):

Yong Vui Kong grew up in extreme poverty and dropped out of school at just 11-years-old. He left home at 15-years-old to begin work in Kuala Lumpur as an apprentice cook and later sold digital video discs.i It is alleged that shortly before his arrest he came into contact with someone who hired him to deliver goods from Malaysia to Singapore. ii

Mr. Yong was arrested at the age of 19-years-old and was accused of trafficking in slightly more than 47 grams of diamorphine between 12 June 2007 and 13 June 2007. Under Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act – which prescribes a mandatory death penalty for certain categories of drug offences – Mr. Yong was convicted on 14 November 2008 and sentenced to death.

Neither his age nor personal circumstances could be taken into account in his sentencing due to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty policy. Such mandatory death sentences that cannot consider mitigating considerations have been criticised by the former UN Commission on Human Rightsiii, the UN Human Rights Committeeiv, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executionsv and the Inter-American Court of Human Rightsvi as well as numerous national courtsvii.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions wrote of mandatory death sentences, ‘The experience of numerous judicial and quasi-judicial bodies has demonstrated that mandatory death sentences are inherently over-inclusive and unavoidably violate human rights law. The categorical distinctions that may be drawn between offences in the criminal law are not sufficient to reflect the full range of factors relevant to determining whether a death sentence would be permissible in a capital case. In such cases, individualized sentencing by the judiciary is required in order to prevent cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and the arbitrary deprivation of life.’viii

Furthermore, it has long been established that drug offences do not reach the standard of ‘most serious crimes’ as articulated by United Nations human rights bodies.

International bodies have devoted considerable attention to limitations placed on the lawful application of the death penalty. According to decisions by human rights monitors, scholars and international jurisprudence, capital drug laws are at odds with the right to life as articulated by Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that the death penalty may only be applied for what the treaty terms ‘most serious crimes’. This has been affirmed by:

  • UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executionsix
  • UN Office on Drugs and Crimex
  • UN Human Rights Committee, the body of independent experts mandated with monitoring the implementation and interpretation of the ICCPRxi
  • UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishmentxii
  • UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental healthxiii

Singapore is not a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights yet this principle has been endorsed by UN political bodies in a 1984 resolution of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), which upheld nine safeguards on the application of the death penalty, affirming that capital punishment should be used ‘only for the most serious crimes.’xiv This resolution which held that such offences were limited to those ‘with lethal or other extremely grave consequences’ was later endorsed by the UN General Assemblyxv.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has similarly affirmed, ‘As an entity of the United Nations system, UNODC advocates the abolition of the death penalty and calls upon Member States to follow international standards concerning prohibition of the death penalty for offences of a drug-related or purely economic nature.’xvi

Furthermore, there are numerous fair trial concerns associated with presumptions of guilt that are included in the Misuse of Drugs Act. It has been pointed out on numerous occasionsxvii – including by the office of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – that this presumption ‘shifts the burden of proof to the accused, does not provide sufficient guarantees for the presumption of innocence and may lead to violations of the right to life when the crime of drug trafficking carries a mandatory death sentence.’xviii

This presumption raises numerous concerns that procedural safeguards are not protected -- which in capital trials is ‘without a doubt a norm of customary law (or a general principle of law).’xix The Human Rights Committee wrote in 1982 that the protections articulated in Article 14 of the Covenant are built into Article 6, ‘including the right to a fair hearing by an independent tribunal, the presumption of innocence, the minimum guarantees for the defence, and the right to review by a higher tribunal. These rights are applicable in addition to the particular right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence.’xx In addition, Safeguard No. 5 of the General Assembly-endorsed 1984 ECOSOC resolution states:

Capital punishment may only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court after legal process which gives all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial, at least equal to those contained in article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the right of anyone suspected of or charged with a crime for which capital punishment may be imposed to adequate legal assistance at all stages of the proceedings.xxi

These concerns have been raised by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the past. xxii

III. Forces believed to be responsible for the incident:
(a) if the perpetrators are believed to be State agents, please specify (military, police, persons in uniform or civilian clothes, agents of security services, unit to which they belong, rank and functions, etc.) and indicate why they are believed to be responsible; be as precise as possible:

(b) if an identification as State agents is not possible, why do you believe that Government authorities, or persons linked to them, are responsible for the incident?

(c) if there are witnesses to the incident, indicate their names. If they wish to remain anonymous, indicate if they are relatives, by-passers, etc.; if there is evidence, please specify:

This sentence was passed by the High Court and upheld by the Court of Appeals and is due to be carried out by government authorities.

IV. Steps taken by the victim or his/her family:
(a) Indicate if complaints have been filed, when, by whom, and before which organ.

(b) Other steps taken:

All domestic remedies have been exhausted.

On 14 November 2008 a mandatory death sentence was passed against Yong Vui Kong. An appeal was filed but then withdrawn. On 11 August 2009 Mr. Yong petitioned the president for clemency which was rejected on the 20 November 2009. Just four days before his sentence was to be carried out, Mr. Yong through his current attorney M Ravi, filed a criminal motion for leave to pursue his appeal at the Court of Appeal based on the argument that the sentence was unconstitutional. The application was granted on 8 December 2009 though the appeal was dismissed on 14 March 2010.xxiii Shortly before the decision was made public, published comments attributed to the Law Minister defended the mandatory death penalty for drugs and warned that if drug lords are under the impression that young and vulnerable traffickers will be spared then they will be more inclined to use them as mules – adding, ‘Then you’ll get 10 more. There’ll be an unstoppable stream of such people coming through as long as we say we won’t enforce our laws.’xxiv

A final appeal was submitted based on several arguments including that by law it is the President ‘who has the power to decide whether or not to grant any fresh clemency petition which the Appellant might file’ and that ‘Law Minister’s conduct had irreversibly tainted the clemency process in respect of the Appellant with apparent bias, and the Appellant was entitled to be pardoned on account thereof or was, alternatively, entitled not to be deprived of his life’.

This appeal was rejected on 4 April 2011.

V. Steps taken by the authorities:
(a) Indicate whether or not there have been investigations by the State authorities; if so, what kind of investigations? Progress and status of these investigations; which other measures have been taken (e.g. autopsy)?

(b) in case of complaints by the victim or its family, how have the organs dealt with them? What is the outcome of those proceedings?

The government has agreed to hear several appeals on behalf of Yong Vui Kong, which have been filed on his behalf by attorney M Ravi. However, at no point has the government reconsidered its policy of enforcing the mandatory death penalty for drugs.

VI. Identity of the person submitting the case
(Joint Submission of Harm Reduction International and M. Ravi)

Person 1:
1. Family name:

2. First name(s):

3. Status: individual, group, non-governmental organization, inter-governmental agency, Government. Please specify:
Non-governmental organisation: Harm Reduction International.

4. Address (telephone, fax, e-mail):
Harm Reduction International
Unit 701 - The Chandlery
50 Westminster Bridge Road
United Kingdom - SE1 7QY
Fax: +44 (0) 207 953 7404
Phone: +44 (0) 207 953 7650

5. Please state whether you want your identity to be kept confidential:

27 April 2011

Signature of author:
Patrick Gallahue

Person 2:
1. Family name:
Mr. M. Ravi

3. Status: individual, group, non-governmental organization, inter-governmental agency, Government. Please specify:

4. Address (telephone, fax, e-mail):
L.F. Violet Netto
101, Upper Cross Street, Peoples' Park Centre,
05-13, Singapore 058357
Fax: 65- 65324301
Tel: 65- 65337433

27 April 2011

Signature of author:

i See for example: Al Jazeera (26 January 2011) 'Yong's Story: The case of a young Malaysian convicted for drug trafficking tests Singapore's capital punishment laws'; or Save Vui Kong at
ii See Yong Vui Kong. v. Public Prosecutor, Criminal Appeal 13 of 2008, Respondent's Arguments (For hearing: 15 March 2010)
iii UN Commission on Human Rights (20 April 2005) Human Rights Resolution 2005/59, para. 6
iv UN Human Rights Committee (26 March 2002) Kennedy v. Trinidad and Tobago Communication No. 845/1998. CCPR/C/74/D/845/1998, para. 7.3.; UN Human Rights Committee (18 October 2000) Thompson v. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Communication No. 806/1998. CCPR/C/70D/806/1998, para. 8; UN Human Rights Committee (1995) Lubuto v. Zambia Communication No. 390/1990.
v UN Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights Council: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, 29 January 2007, A/HRC/4/20, paras. 54-59
vi Hilaire, Constantine, Benjamin et al. v. Trinidad and Tobago Inter-American Court of Human Rights Series C No. 94 (21 June 2002)
vii Privy Council Appeal No. 44 of 2005 (1) Forrester Bowe (Junior) (2) Trono Davis v. The Queen, The Court of Appeal of the Bahamas (8 March 2006) para. 29(3); Attorney General v. Susan Kigula and 417 Others No. 03 of 2006, Uganda: S. Ct (21 January 2009); Amnesty International (22 January 2009) Mandatory death penalty ruled unconstitutional in Uganda; Kafantayeni v. Attorney General, Constitutional Case No. 12 of 2005 [2007] MWHC 1; Bernard Coard and others v. The Attorney General of Grenada UKPC7 (2007).
viii Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Civil and Political rights, Including the Questions of Disappearences and Summary Executions, A/HRC/4/20, 29 January 2007
ix UN Commission on Human Rights, Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: Report by the Special Rapporteur, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/74, 24 December 1996, E/CN.4/1997/60; UN Human Rights Council (29 January 2007) Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. A/HRC/4/20, para. 51-52; UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Addendum : Communications to and from Governments, 18 June 2010, A/HRC/14/24/Add.1, pp. 45-46.
x UNODC (2010) Drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice: A human rights perspective. Note by the Executive Director (Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Fifty-third session, Vienna, 8–12 March), UN Doc. E/CN.7/2010/CRP.6*–E/CN.15/2010/CRP.1*.
xi UN Human Rights Committee (8 July 2005), Concluding observations: Thailand. CCPR/CO/84/THA, para. 14; Human Rights Committee (29 August 2007) Concluding observations: Sudan. CCPR/C/SDN/CO/3, para. 19.
xii UN Human Rights Council (14 January 2009) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. A/HRC/10/44, para. 66.
xiii UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, A/65/255 (6 August 2010) para. 17
xiv ECOSOC (25 May 1984) Implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. Resolution 1984/50.
xv UN General Assembly (14 December 1984) Human rights in the administration of justice. Resolution A/RES/39/118.
xvi UNODC (2010) Drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice: A human rights perspective. Note by the Executive Director (Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Fifty-third session, Vienna, 8–12 March), UN Doc. E/CN.7/2010/CRP.6*–E/CN.15/2010/CRP.1*.
xvii Amnesty International (15 January 2004) Singapore: The Death Penalty – A Hidden Toll of Executions. ASA 36/001/2004
xviii Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/74, E/CN.4/1997/60/Add.1, para. 438
xix W Schabas, ‘International law and the death penalty: reflecting or promoting change’, in P Hodgkinson and W Schabas (eds), ‘Capital Punishment: Strategies for Abolition’, (2nd edn Cambridge University Press 2004) p. 53.
xx General Comment No. 06 (Sixteenth Session): The right to life (art. 6) (30 April 1982); W Schabas, ‘International law and the death penalty:reflecting or promoting change’, in P Hodgkinson and W Schabas (eds), ‘Capital Punishment: Strategies for Abolition’, (2nd edn Cambridge University Press 2004) p. 56.
xxi ECOSOC (25 May 1984) Implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. Resolution 1984/50.
xxii Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/74, E/CN.4/1997/60/Add.1, para. 438
xxiii Civil Appeal No 144 of 2010 Yong Vui Kong v Attorney-General, Summary of the judgment of Chan Sek Keong CJ, 4 April 2011. For further discussion of the decision, see: Y. McDermott, 'Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor and the Mandatory Death Penalty for Drug Offences in Singapore: A Dead End for Constitutional Challenge?' (2010) 1 International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy 35
xxiv Civil Appeal No 144 of 2010 Yong Vui Kong v Attorney-General, Summary of the judgment of Chan Sek Keong CJ, 4 April 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ST: Murder conviction for seafood boss overturned

Eu Lim Hoklai, 57, had been given the mandatory death penalty by the High Court in 2009 for killing Madam Yu Hongjin on June 18, 2006.A SEAFOOD stall boss escaped the gallows on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction for murdering his China mistress in the Ang Mo Kio massage parlour she ran.

Justice V. K. Rajah, delivering the decision of the three-judge court in Eu's appeal against his conviction, said that it was unsafe to conclude that this was a case of murder in cold blood.

Rather it appears to have been a death caused in the heat of the moment, said the judge, convicting him of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, which carries up to 10 years' jail or life imprisonment. Eu had gone to meet Madam Yu that day - Father's Day - but the meeting turned violent. Madam Yu died from strangulation and two stab wounds. Eu suffered wounds that damaged no major organs.

The prosecution's case was that Eu had strangled Madam Yu after she was stabbed twice and helpless. But Eu said Madam Yu stabbed him first and he retaliated. On Tuesday, Justice V. K. Rajah - delivering the Court of Appeal's decision - said it was plausible that some of Eu's wounds could have been inflicted by Madam Yu.

It was likely that a struggle took place in the massage parlour although it is not clear who struck the first blow, he said. The benefit of the doubt has to be given to the accused in such 'difficult' cases, said Justice Rajah.

CNA: Man charged with trolley bag murder

SINGAPORE: A 44-year-old executive was charged on Monday with the murder of a 28-year-old man whose body was found in a trolley bag at Sentosa.

Teo Boon Leng allegedly killed Wong Teck Siong in a unit at the Caribbean condominium at Keppel Bay Drive between April 1 and 16.

Police said officers received a call about the case at 8.40am on Saturday, April 16.

The bag was floating near the shore in the waters off the Sentosa Gate construction site and it contained Mr Wong's decomposed body.

Officers conducted their investigations and arrested Teo on Sunday afternoon.

Teo is now in remand at the Central Police Division and will be back in court on Monday, April 25.

If convicted of murder, he will face the death penalty.


SADPC - Statement regarding Khor Soon Lee's appeal and an appeal for Cheong Chun Yin‏

18 April 2011 

On Saturday, 16 April 2011, we received news that Singapore’s Court of Appeal had overturned the death sentence of Khor Soon Lee, who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2009. 

According to the information reported by the press, Khor who was arrested on 9 August 2008 at Woodlands Immigration Checkpoint, was not aware that he was carrying heroine although he knew that he was carrying other drugs. 

It is encouraging to hear the decision of the Court and we hope that this will not be the only case whereby other factors are taken into due consideration before a convict gets sentenced to death or before an appeal gets dismissed.

We appeal to the Court of Appeal to apply similar practice on other cases. 

Cheong Chun Yin
One example is the case of another Malaysian by the name of Cheong Chun Yin who was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in February 2010. In his statement and during the court proceedings, Cheong told the Court that he believed that he had been smuggling gold bars from Burma instead of heroin. 

If the Court of Appeal was able to look through the evidence to decide that Khor had no knowledge that he was carrying heroin in his appeal, they should also be able to do the same for Cheong. 

Unfortunately Cheong’s case has progressed to the last stage. He is now waiting for the President’s reply to the clemency petition that was submitted at the beginning of the year. 

As time is running out, we urgently urge the authorities of Singapore to look into Cheong’s case once again and allow him one last appeal, putting into consideration the fact that he claimed no knowledge of smuggling the drug into our shores at all. 

Afterall, the purpose of the legal process is to avoid punishing the innocent, and I am sure that we do not want to send an innocent man to the gallows for a crime that he did not intend to commit.

Thank you.

Rachel Zeng
Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Second Chances: A re-trial for Cheong Chun Yin

Second Chances: A re-trial for Cheong Chun Yin.

The above video was shot at the press conference called by the Save Vui Kong Campaign last weekend in Kuala Lumpur to highlight the case of Cheong Chun Yin, a Malaysian from Johor Bahru on death row in Singapore.
In June 2008, Chun Yin arrived in Singapore’s Changi Airport. He had just come from Myanmar. He was carrying a black suitcase, which he believed contained gold bars that he was smuggling for a friend, who wanted to evade tax. He handed the bag over to a woman at the airport before leaving.
Chun Yin was later arrested while alighting from a taxi in Arab Street. He did not have the suitcase on him. He was then taken to a flat where the suitcase was found. The “gold bars” that he thought had been hidden in the lining turned out to be about 2.7kg of heroin.
During his interrogation, Chun Yin cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers and gave them the name, physical description and phone numbers of his contact, a man who had gone by the name of “Lau De”. However, the CNB did not make any effort to investigate.
Chun Yin was convicted and sentenced to death (under the Mandatory Death Penalty stipulated in the Misuse of Drugs Act) by High Court Judge Choo Han Teck. In his written judgement, Judge Choo stated, “It was immaterial that the CNB did not make adequate efforts to trace ‘Lau De’ or check on his cell-phones.”
The Court of Appeal upheld the verdict in October 2010.
Till this day, Chun Yin insists that he had believed he was carrying gold bars. He did not cut open the lining of the bag as he did not want to be held responsible should anything have gone missing.
If the CNB had attempted to trace “Lau De”, they could have corroborated Chun Yin’s story, and possibly even traced and arrested the whole network, thus cutting off the drug supply at the source. However, the CNB made no effort to do so.
Since it is a matter of life and death, and since the death penalty is irreversible, Second Chances urges the Singapore government to grant Chun Yin a stay of execution, and to look into his case again. Every effort should be made to thoroughly investigate a case before a sentence is handed down. We cannot afford to get it wrong, because we will never be able to bring a person back to life after he/she has been executed.
Please give Chun Yin a second chance to have his case examined, and all the evidence checked and investigated.
To support the campaign for Chun Yin’s case to be reopened, please sign the petition, and ‘like’ the Facebook page here.