UN Human Rights Office calls on Singapore to halt execution for drugs charges


BANGKOK (12 July 2017) - The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia calls on the Singaporean Government to halt the imminent execution of Malaysian national Prabagaran Srivijayan for a drugs related offence, and urges the Government to immediately instate a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

On 6 July 2017, Mr. Srivijayan and his family were informed that he would be executed on 14 July 2017. His appeal for clemency to the President of Singapore was declined on 7 July.

Mr. Srivijayan, 29, was arrested in April 2012 in possession of 22.24 grams of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin. The heroin was found in the arm rest of a car that he had borrowed. Mr. Srivijayan claimed that he had no knowledge of the drugs.

On 22 July 2012, Mr. Srivijayan was convicted and sentenced to death under section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act. On 2 October 2015 his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Separately, in May 2017, Mr. Srivijayan's legal representatives in Malaysia launched a case to urge Malaysia to seek the intervention of the International Court of Justice.

We are gravely concerned that the execution will proceed despite a pending appeal with the International Court of Justice.

We deeply regret that in recent months, four individuals have been executed for drug-related offences in Singapore. Under international law, the death penalty may only be used for "the most serious crimes" which has been interpreted to mean only crimes involving intentional killing. Drug-related offences do not fall under this threshold.

Several States have also called on Singapore to abolish the death penalty, in particular for drug-related offences, during its human rights review in Geneva in January 2016.

For more information on the death penalty in South-East Asia, view our publication entitled "Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Lessons in South-East Asia": http://bangkok.ohchr.org/

ENDS

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  • The Regional Office for South-East Asia in Bangkok represents the High Commissioner for Human Rights within South East Asia. The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations and heads the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which spearheads the United Nations' human rights efforts.