Singapore Executes Drug Smuggler Despite Concerns Over Mental Disability

A Malaysian man convicted of smuggling medication into Singapore was executed Wednesday regardless of appeals from human rights advocates and world enterprise leaders who mentioned he must be spared as a result of he suffered from a psychological incapacity.

Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 34, was executed by hanging, in keeping with his lawyer, M. Ravi. He was caught in 2009 with about 1.5 ounces of heroin strapped to his thigh as he entered Singapore from Malaysia.

His legal professionals and rights teams mentioned that Mr. Nagaenthran suffered from an mental incapacity and was not totally able to understanding his actions and that he was coerced into carrying the medication.

Amongst those that urged Singapore to remain his execution had been Malaysia’s prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob; the British billionaire founding father of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson; and the Malaysian entrepreneur and chief government of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes. Greater than 100,000 folks signed a petition urging Singapore’s president, Halimah Yacob, to pardon him.

“Nagaenthran Dharmalingam’s title will go down in historical past because the sufferer of a tragic miscarriage of justice,” mentioned Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, one of many rights teams. “Hanging an intellectually disabled, mentally unwell man as a result of he was coerced into carrying lower than three tablespoons of diamorphine is unjustifiable and a flagrant violation of worldwide legal guidelines.”

Mr. Nagaenthran was sentenced to dying a decade in the past. On attraction, the courts rejected his argument that his sentence must be overturned due to his incapacity. Singapore’s Ministry of House Affairs mentioned that Mr. Nagaenthran acquired a good trial and that the courtroom concluded his actions had been “the working of a prison thoughts.”

“Nagaenthran was discovered to have clearly understood the character of his acts, and he didn’t lose his sense of judgment of the rightness or wrongness of what he was doing,” the ministry mentioned.

In line with an affidavit submitted by Mr. Nagaenthran’s brother final yr, his psychological state had deteriorated whereas in jail, leaving him disoriented and unable to remember conversations that had taken place minutes earlier.

Singapore’s Excessive Courtroom granted a keep in November, however the Courtroom of Enchantment cleared the way in which on Tuesday for the execution to proceed. It was carried out early Wednesday.

Singapore, an island nation of almost 6 million that has a few of the world’s harshest narcotics legal guidelines, contends that the dying penalty is a deterrent to drug smuggling. The United Nations Excessive Commissioner For Human Rights mentioned Monday that it was “deeply involved” by a rise in executions in Singapore, and joined in urging that Mr. Nagaenthran be spared.

“The usage of the dying penalty for drug-related offenses is incompatible with worldwide human rights legislation,” the human rights office said.

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