Yong Vui Kong’s lawyer and ADPAN Member, M. Ravi, talks to Malaysia’s BFM radio station

Ravi

On 19 November 2013, Yong Vui Kong’s lawyer and ADPAN Member, M. Ravi, talked to Malaysia’s BFM radio station about the recent changes in the law to the mandatory death penalty in Singapore and the implications on his client Yong Vui Kong who had his death sentence commuted on 14 November. See blog post here.

Ravi highlighted the concern around another young Malaysian, Cheong Chun Yin, who still faces execution in Singapore. Cheong, who is now at the final stage of appeal, was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Singapore in February 2010.

Listen:


INDONESIA – ADPAN condemns the secret execution of Muhammad Abdul Hafeez – the fifth execution this year

ADPAN condemns the execution of Muhammad Abdul Hafeez, a 44-year-old Pakistani national on 17 November.  The execution was carried out in secret bringing the number of executions carried out this year to five. Reports indicate that neither family members nor legal representatives were informed in advance of these executions.

Muhammas Abdul Hafeez was arrested at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on 26 June 2001 for allegedly smuggling 900 grams of heroin into Indonesia and sentenced to death on 28 November 2001.

After four years, executions resumed in Indonesia in 2012. This resumption is a regressive step at a time when the world is turning away from executions. There are fears that another five may be at imminent risk of execution.

At least 130 people are under sentence of death in Indonesia.

ADPAN has on-going concerns around unfair trials in capital cases in Indonesia.  The execution of drug offenders breaches international law which restricts the use of the death penalty to only the “most serious crimes”. Any execution of a foreign national also goes against the Indonesian government’s effort to seek clemency for its own nationals sentenced to death in other countries.

ADPAN works to end death penalty across Asia-Pacific and has members in 28 countries mainly from Asia including Indonesia.

ADPAN calls the Indonesia government to stop all further executions, to introduce a moratorium and pending abolition, to ensure full compliance with international legal standards restricting the use of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”.

ADPAN Member organizations in Indonesia:

  • Imparsial
  • Commission for “the Disappeared” and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  • Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat (LBH Masyarakat)

SINGAPORE – Yong Vui Kong’s Death Sentence lifted following Landmark Decision

Yong Vui Kong 2

In a landmark decision made on 14 November, Singapore’s High Court lifted the death sentence on Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian man, aged 25. After six years in death row, Yong instead received a life sentence and 15 strokes of the cane.

ADPAN, NGOs, lawyers and activists from around the world are celebrating the news that Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian man, who was arrested in 2007 aged 19, for possessing 47g of heroin and sentenced to death in 2009 under Singapore’s strict mandatory death penalty laws, has been spared the death penalty.

Yong’s lawyer and ADPAN member M. Ravi launched a series of appeals in the Courts appealing for Yong Vui Kong. This included challenging the constitutionality of Singapore’s mandatory death penalty laws. In 2011 all death sentences in Singapore were suspended whilst a review affecting the mandatory death penalty was carried out. In late 2012, Singapore’s Parliament decided that certain mandatory death penalty laws be changed, including the Misuse of Drugs Act allowing the courts to give discretion in imposing the death penalty in certain cases if they prove that they did not intend to cause death.

ADPAN remains concerned that Yong Vui Kong faces caning –a violation of the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, which could also amount to torture.

Following the court’s decision, M Ravi, said, “This is the happiest day of my client’s life. He feels intense gratitude towards all who have worked so hard to save him from being executed…for their commitment and dedication to saving his life”.

“Yong has spent six years facing the prospect of losing it after an unfair judicial process” said ADPAN Coordinator, Louise Vischer, “this is a significant ruling for the many who have supported Yong Vui Kong in lifting this death sentence and for others who have been sentenced under Singapore’s strict drugs laws”.

ADPAN has a membership in Singapore and across the region. ADPAN works for an end to the death penalty across Asia-Pacific.

ADPAN members in Singapore:

  • Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC)
  • We Believe in Second Chances
  • Think Centre
  • Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD)

22-23 October 2013, Expert Seminar on the Death Penalty, Bangkok, Thailand

International Experts Welcome Efforts Toward the Abolition of Death Penalty in South East Asia

On 22-23 October, representatives of ADPAN attended a meeting in Bangkok organised by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Thailand’s Ministry of Justice. See press release below.

4428903338_415a53b976‘Map of Southeast Asia’ by Jeff McNeill, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffmcneill/4428903338/
Licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

PRESS RELEASE – OHCHR REGIONAL OFFICE FOR SOUTH EAST ASIA

Bangkok (23 October 2013) – The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Thailand organized an expert seminar in Bangkok on moving away from the death penalty in South East Asia (22-23 October). Participants included prominent international experts and representatives from Governments, the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, Parliaments, National Human Rights Institutions, the legal profession, academia and civil society.

“This regional meeting comes at a crucial time as the international movement for abolition of the death penalty continues to grow in strength and influence” said Mr. Ibrahim Najjar, former Minister of Justice of Lebanon and currently Commissioner at the International Commission against Death Penalty.

During the two day seminar, building on global trends, participants discussed the situation in South East Asia as well as international standards regulating the use of death penalty.

“While challenges remain, experiences in South-East Asia discussed in this seminar tend to confirm the global trend of moving away from the death penalty” said Professor William Schabas, a prominent international expert on the question of capital punishment, adding that he was confident that more countries in South East Asia will take significant steps toward the abolition of the death penalty in the coming years.

Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn from the Chulalongkorn University who acted as Chair throughout the expert seminar concluded that this first regional meeting was an important milestone for further discussion at the national and regional level on this critical issue, including through the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.“This dialogue among experts from the region is essential to end this unjust and inhumane practice which often affects the most marginalized” said Professor Muntarbhorn, adding that it was hard to reconcile death penalty with fundamental human rights, especially the right to life.

OHCHR Regional Office for South East Asia webpage: http://bangkok.ohchr.org/
For additional information and media requests, please contact: Laurent Meillan (+0811711356 / meillan@un.org).

ADPAN YouTube Campaign

This video, launching ADPAN’s YouTube on the 11th World Day against the Death Penalty shows why ADPAN members and supporters oppose the death penalty.

To show your support, you can send in your videos to adpanonline@gmail.com. We’ll continue to add to the video over the year.

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