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UN experts call for an immediate end to the death penalty – Global issues

Countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty can only impose it on “the most serious crimes”, the group of eleven experts said in a report. Joint statementadded that under international law, “only extremely serious crimes involving intentional homicide” are considered “most serious”.

“Drug crimes clearly do not reach this threshold,” they argue.

Violation of rights

The experts condemn Singapore’s execution of Malaysian citizens Abdul Kahar bin Othman and Nagaenthran Dharmalingam for drug-related crimes in March and April, respectively.

Dharmalingam was executed despite claims that he had an intellectual disability, impaired mental health and was a victim of human trafficking.

The experts emphasized: “The execution of people with intellectual disabilities and drug-related crimes violates the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or humiliate people and lead to illegal killing”.

A balanced life

They also called on the Government to stop any plans to execute another Malaysian man convicted of a similar crime and to immediately establish a “formal moratorium on all executions with a view to completely abolishing the sentence.” death”.

Datchinamurthy Kataiah was arrested for trafficking 44.96 grams of diamorphine from Malaysia to Singapore and sentenced to death in May 2015.

Although his execution is scheduled for April 29, 2022, a stay is allowed until May 20.

Surname urges the Singapore authorities to instead reduce his death sentence to a prison sentence, in accordance with international human rights law and standards..

In addition, UN experts have raised concerns about discriminatory treatment of individuals belonging to minorities, as was the case with Mr. Kataiah, and reports of reprisals against representatives of the representative population. their legal representation.

Abolish the death penalty

The statement reiterates that Mandatory use of the death penalty constitutes “an arbitrary deprivation of life”as it is imposed without any possibility of taking into account the individual circumstances of the accused or the particular offense.

“As a first step, the Government of Singapore should immediately review the scope of the death penalty, particularly for drug-related offenses, to ensure that its imposition and enforcement is strictly limited. strictly for cases involving intentional homicide,” they concluded.

Independent status

The special rapporteurs and independent experts appointed by the UN are based in Geneva Dong Nhan Quyen Association arrive check and report back about a particular human rights topic or a country situation. The positions are honorary and professionals are not paid for their work.

Click this for the names of the experts who signed the statement.

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