Monday, November 09, 2009

For those who oppose the death penalty - something you can do

Something that you, who oppose the death penalty, can do...Below is an Amnesty International Urgent Appeal

Document - Singapore: Malaysian man facing execution in Singapore

UA: 296/09 Index: ASA 36/004/2009 Singapore Date: 03 November 2009


Malaysian man facing execution in singapore

Yong Vui Kong was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in January 2009. He had exhausted his appeals by October, and can now escape execution only if the president grants clemency.

Yong Vui Kong was arrested in June 2007, when he was 19, by officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau. He was charged with trafficking 42.27 grams of heroin, and then sentenced to death in January 2009.

He had been working as a messenger for a man in Malaysia who often asked him to collect money from debtors or deliver packages as "gifts" to people in Singapore and Malaysia. At his trial, Yong Vui Kong said he had not known what was in the packages, and when he asked, he had simply been told not to open them. The judge, however, ruled that Yong must have been aware of their contents, saying in his written summation, "I found that the accused had failed to rebut the presumption against him. I am of the view that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, and I therefore found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to suffer death."

Yong was convicted under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which provides that anyone found guilty of illegally importing, exporting or trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin will automatically receive a mandatory death sentence.

Governments need to address crimes, including drug trafficking, but there is no clear evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other forms of punishment. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions stated in his 2005 report that the "mandatory death penalty, which precludes the possibility of a lesser sentence being imposed regardless of the circumstances, is inconsistent with the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." To date, 139 countries have abolished death penalty in law or practice.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Mandarin or your own language:

  • Urging the president to grant clemency to Yong Vui Kong and commute his death sentence;

  • Expressing concern that because the death penalty is mandatory for drug-trafficking cases, the court had no discretion to sentence Yong Vui Kong to an alternative punishment;

  • Calling on the president to introduce a moratorium on executions, with a view to complete abolition of the death penalty.



His Excellency SR Nathan

Office of the President

Istana, Orchard Road

Singapore 0922

Fax: +65 6735 3135


Salutation: Your Excellency

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