Singapore executes intellectually disabled man for drug trafficking after appeal rejected 2022-04-27 00:23:02


Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, a 34-year-old Malaysian national, was arrested in 2009 for bringing 42.7 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin to Singapore. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010.

His family’s lawyer, N.

“His brother is waiting to receive his body and return it to their hometown, Ipoh in Malaysia,” Surendran said.

The case of Dharmalingam drew international attention — including from the United Nations, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaqoub and British billionaire Richard Branson — who have decried the court proceedings despite his mental disability. A psychologist rated his IQ as 69.

His lawyer made multiple appeals to overturn the execution, arguing that Dharmalingam should not have been sentenced to death under Singaporean law because he was unable to understand his actions.

But a court in Singapore rejected a final appeal from Dharmalingam’s lawyers last month, saying there was “no admissible evidence showing any deterioration in the appellant’s mental state following the commission of the crime”.

A Singapore court on Tuesday rejected a legal appeal by Dharmalingam’s mother, paving the way for the execution, Reuters reported. At the end of the hearing, Dharmalingam and his family cried while holding hands through a gap in a glass screen, Reuters reported, adding that Dharmalingam’s cries of the word “Ama” – which means “mother” – could be heard in the courtroom.

Singapore court rejects final appeal of intellectually disabled man against execution for drug smuggling

The anti-death penalty group Reprieve said ‘Dharmalingam’ will go down in history as the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice.

“The hanging of a mentally disabled and mentally ill man because he was forced to carry less than three tablespoons of diamorphine is unjustifiable and a flagrant violation of international laws that Singapore has chosen to sign,” Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said in a statement.

“Nagin’s last days were, like so much of the past decade, in the tormenting isolation of solitary confinement. He had to seek court permission to hold his family’s hands one last time yesterday. Our thoughts are with Nagen’s family, who have never stopped fighting for him; their pain is unimaginable.” “.

Singapore has some of the strictest drug laws in the world.

Trafficking a certain amount of a drug—for example, 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of heroin—results in a mandatory death sentence under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The law was only recently amended – after the commencement of the Dharmalingam case – to allow a convicted person to escape the death penalty in certain circumstances.

His lawyer said Dharmalingham spent a decade on death row, during which time his condition further deteriorated.

About 300 people staged a candlelight vigil in a Singapore park on Monday to protest the imminent execution of Dharmalingam, according to Reuters.