Tuesday, April 19, 2005



We note with concern and sadness the case of 14 year old Singaporean twins Gopalan and Krishnan Murugesu, who have been tramping the streets of the city-state seeking public support for a petition against the execution of their father. Their father Shanmugam Murugesu was sentenced to death for drug possession and will be executed unless Singapore President S.R.Nathan grants his petition for clemency. This heart-rending case well illustrates the evil caused by the infliction of the death penalty.

The death penalty is an extremely cruel and degrading form of punishment.The condemned person not only suffers from the barbarity of the execution itself, but also the cruelty of waiting upon death row for the day he is to be methodically killed by the state.

It has never been proven that the imposition of the death penalty reduces the incidence of crime. On the other hand, there is overwhelming proof of the horrendous impact of the death penalty upon the loved ones of thecondemned person.

These two young boys will almost certainly be seriously traumatized by the killing of their father by the State, particularly since he is the only parent they have. They are mere children who should be in school or at theplayground, and living the carefree existence of childhood. Instead, they are walking the streets of Singapore, begging for their's father's life. How can the State of Singapore justify this?

Justice that is not tempered with mercy is nothing more than the brute unfeeling exercise of force by the State. In the name of pity and human dignity, and for the sake of these suffering children, we call upon His Excellency President S.R. Nathan to grant the clemency petition of Shanmugam Murugesu.

We also call upon the government of Singapore to immediately impose a moratorium upon all executions, as a first step towards final abolition of the death penalty.

N. Surendran
Charles Hector
Salbiah Ahmad

for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

19th April 2005

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