Tuesday, April 08, 2008

URGENT APPEAL: Death penalty of three Malaysians in Singapore


Forwarded Urgent Appeal: AHRC-FUA-003-2008

29 February 2008
SINGAPORE/MALAYSIA: Death penalty of three Malaysians in Singapore

ISSUES: Death Penalty

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward an appeal received from Amnesty International regarding the death penalty of three Malaysians in Singapore. Please intervene in this case in order to save their lives and urge the relevant authorities in Singapore to join the international community for the moratorium on executions.

If you have further queries, please contact the Regional Campaign Assistants given below.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

For queries, Lea Biason (Lea.Biason@amnesty.org) and Charlotte Chompff (Charlotte.Chompff@amnesty.org).


Hamir Hasim (m) aged 23, Malaysian national
Kamal Kupli (m) aged 24, Malaysian national
Abdul Malik Usman (m) aged 28, Malaysian national

Hamir Hasim, Kamal Kupli and Abdul Malik are at risk of imminent execution in Singapore. On 18 February their final appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeals. Amnesty International is calling for their death sentence to be commuted by the President.

On 1 March, 2007 all 3 men had been convicted of murder, which carries a mandatory death sentence in Singapore. Hamir Hasim, a gardener, and Kamal Kupli and Abdul Malik Usman, both cleaners, were found guilty of attacking and killing a man that they robbed in December 2005.


Singapore has one of the highest execution rates per capita in the world. There has been very little public debate about the death penalty in Singapore, partly as a result of tight government controls on the media. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions noted in a 2005 report that legal safeguards in Singapore do not meet international human rights standards. Echoing the concerns of many lawyers and activists, he argued that the mandatory penalty denies the judiciary the necessary discretion to sentence people fairly and appropriately.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, and supports the global trend away from the use of the death penalty, powerfully expressed in the UN General Assembly’s resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions on 18 December 2007.

Amnesty International recognizes the need of governments to address serious crime, including murder, but notes that there is no clear evidence that the death penalty deters crime any more effectively than other forms of punishment. Today 135 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please rush personally-worded appeals

- urging the President to commute the death sentences of Hamir Hasim, Kamal Kupli and Abdul Malik Usman immediately;

- expressing concern that the death penalty is mandatory for murder in Singapore, and calling on the authorities to take steps to adopt a moratorium on executions, with a view to restricting the scope of the death penalty and ultimately abolishing the death penalty, as called for in the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2007.


President Sellapan Rama Nathan
Office of the President of the Republic of Singapore
Orchard Road
Singapore 238823
Fax: 011 65 6737 5522
Email: s_r_nathan@istana.gov.sg
Salutation: Dear President Nathan


His Excellency Mr Vanu Gopala MENON
High Commissioner for Singapore
c/o Permanent Mission to the U.N.
231 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022, USA

Fax: (212) 826-2964

Lee Hsien Loong
Office of the Prime Minister
Istana Annexe, Orchard Road
Singapore 0923
Fax: 011 65 6835 6621
Email: lee_hsien_loong@pmo.gov.sg
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Professor S. Jayakumar
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
The Treasury 08-02
Singapore 179434
Fax: 011 65 6332 8842
Salutation: Dear Minister

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

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