HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER SUBMITS MEMO TO M’SIA TO SAVE DOOMED TRAFFICKER

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty lawyer M Ravi has sent a ICJ memo to the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an effort to save a drug trafficker on death row, Prabagaran A/L Srivijayan.

Praba, 29, is a Malaysian citizen who was arrested on 12 April 2012 for trafficking drugs across the border. He is currently on death row awaiting his execution and is depending on the result of his clemency petition to the Singapore President to save his life.

Singapore anti-death penalty activists led by human rights lawyer M Ravi say that Prabagaran is being denied his right to his life which is in violation of the rules of natural justice, the separation of powers and the rule of law.

“In respect of a person who has been convicted of a drug offence that is punishable with death under the Second Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), Section 33B(2)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) provides that the Public Prosecutor may certify that a person convicted of a drug offence punishable with the death penalty has substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in disrupting drug activities. If the Public Prosecutor so certifies, and if the offender is also merely a courier, then the sentencing judge has the discretion to impose life imprisonment in lieu of the death penalty. If the Public Prosecutor does not so certify, then the sentencing judge must sentence the offender to the death penalty.

As discussed above, although in this case Praba has maintained his innocence, he has, in fact, done his best to provide CNB with credible leads that could well have resulted in persons involved in drug activities (i.e., Balu and Nathan) being apprehended.”

M Ravi says that the right to a fair trial is the most fundamental human right and that Prabagaran’s death sentence violates customary international law.

The activists want the Malaysian government to lodge a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since Prabagaran is a Malaysian citizen.

M Ravi and the activists believe Prabagaran is likely to be executed by Singapore in the 3rd week of January and hope the Malaysian parliament can speak on this issue soon.

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