Malaysian man must be hanged in Singapore for possession of 1.5 ounces of heroin

Lawyers are making last resort efforts to save a mentally debilitated Malaysian man from being hanged in Singapore for drug charges next week.

What happens: Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 33, is scheduled to face execution by hanging on November 10, and his lawyers are now planning to make a final appeal this week to rescue him, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

  • “We will file an application with the court [on Tuesday]. When we file it, we will report it to the Attorney General, ”M Ravi, a Singaporean lawyer representing 25 death row inmates, including Dharmalingam, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

  • Dharmalingam’s legal team failed in their attempt to appeal the decision of the Singaporean court. They also appealed to Singapore President Halimah Yacob, but without success.

  • Despite a diagnosis from a Singaporean psychiatrist, the court still pressed on Death penalty on Dharmalingam and argued that he had “conflicting accounts of the reasons for his insult.”

  • In addition to Singapore, the UN Commission on Human Rights has also asked other nations not to impose the death sentence on people “suffering from any kind of mental illness.”

  • Human Rights Watch Asia Division Asia Deputy Director General Phil Robertson said: “Moving forward with this execution would be outrageous and unacceptable and Singapore should stop it now before it is too late.”

  • “We have called on Singapore not to execute Nagaenthran. We have asked them to reverse the verdict,” said Malaysian lawyer N Surendran. “He is intellectually weakened. He has an IQ of 69.”

What happened: Dharmalingam was arrested with 42.72 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin strapped to his legs in 2009 after setting his legs in Singapore from Malaysia. His lawyers claimed he “acted like a drug mule under duress from a friend who had assaulted him and threatened to kill his girlfriend.”

  • “Although we acknowledge the danger since he was on the verge of death, we did not expect that even Singapore would fall so low, to be very honest,” Surendran said. “It seems like a completely heartless and mechanical way of going about things.”

  • About 20,000 people have reportedly signed an online petition, set up by human rights activist Olivia Seow on Thursday, asking President Halimah Yacob for mercy. Coconuts Kuala Lumpur reported.

  • Right-wing groups such as the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) and Malaysia’s Lawyers For Liberty, of which Surendran is an adviser, condemned Singapore for its decision.

  • “The execution of any person with a mental or intellectual disability is extremely unscrupulous and reprehensible,” said ADPAN Executive Coordinator Dobby Chew in a opinion Friday. “The person would hardly have the right capacity to stand trial or even appreciate the seriousness of their predicament.”

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