BANGKOK (24 October 2018) – The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia calls on the Singaporean Government to halt the imminent execution of Malaysian national Prabu N Pathmanathan for a drug-related offence, and urges the Government to immediately instate a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
On 19 October 2018, Mr. Prabu and his family were informed that his appeal for clemency to the President of Singapore had been declined and that he would be executed on 26 October 2018.
Mr. Prabu, 31, was arrested in December 2014 in relation to the seizure of 227.82 grams of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin. The heroin was found in his car, that another person was driving, during a random search by immigration officers in Singapore. Mr. Prabu claimed that he had no knowledge of the nature of the drugs.
On 28 June 2017, Mr. Prabu was convicted and sentenced to death under section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act by the High Court.
We also deeply regret that in 2017, a total of eight individuals were executed in Singapore, all of which for drug-related offences. 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.