Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today slammed the Singapore government over the impending execution of a Malaysian prisoner with an IQ of 69, saying no civilised nation should resort to hanging the mentally disabled.
LFL adviser N Surendran said Nagaenthran a/l K Dharmalingam was convicted in 2011 of illegally importing 42.72g of diamorphine and sentenced to death under Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act.
He said Nagaenthran’s mother was informed in a letter from the Singapore Prison Service dated Oct 26 that her son would be executed on Nov 10.
“Nagaenthran is no ordinary death row prisoner; he suffers from mental disability, with an IQ of 69. His condition is diagnosed and certified by a qualified Singapore-based psychiatrist,” he said in a statement.
“Despite this, Singapore has over the years ignored all pleas that Nagaenthran be spared execution. That Singapore is determined now to go on with this execution is shocking and sickening.”
Noting that Singapore is a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, he said the island republic was in “flagrant breach” of the prohibition under customary international law against the execution of persons with any form of mental impairment, as well as the UN General Assembly which called on member states not execute “persons with mental or intellectual impairment”.
Calling for a halt to Nagaenthran’s execution, Surendran said it was a serious transgression of international law, which even entitles Malaysia to lodge a complaint with the International Court of Justice.
“We hope good sense will prevail, and Singapore will step back from this scheduled execution of a mentally disabled person.
“Going ahead with this hanging will only damage the reputation of the island state, and do nothing to stop the real kingpins of drug trafficking,” he said.