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May 18 2016 | SINGAPORE

Urgent Appeal needed to halt the execution of Kho Jabing

His execution had been scheduled for May 20, 2016.

condannato a morte:
KHO JABING
luogo esecuzione:
SINGAPORE
pena eseguita
 
versione stampabile

 We, the undersigned, are troubled by the imminent execution of Kho Jabing in Singapore, despite strong concerns over the development of his case. We believe there are strong grounds for President Tony Tan of the Republic of Singapore to grant clemency in this case.

The family of Sarawakian Kho Jabing, 31, received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on May 12, 2016 informing them that his execution had been scheduled for May 20, 2016. Kho Jabing was convicted of murder in 2011.
 
The announcement came as a shock to the family and all involved in campaigning for Kho Jabing. We had been under the impression that the authorities would allow his lawyer to submit a fresh clemency appeal on his behalf after the criminal motion filed in late 2015 was dismissed in April this year.
 
His lawyer had sent President Tony Tan a holding letter informing them of his intention to file a new clemency petition, and had been in the process of drafting it when the execution was scheduled.
 
On May 13, 2016, Kho Jabing’s lawyer received a letter from the president saying that he would be willing to consider a clemency petition if it is filed, but will not be postponing the scheduled execution.
 
Considering that past practice shows that the president usually takes three months before any decision regarding clemency is announced, we are concerned that this current state of affairs will leave the cabinet and the president with insufficient time to properly consider a fresh plea from Kho Jabing.
 
The course of Kho Jabing’s case has been tumultuous and traumatic. Due to amendments made to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty regime and appeals lodged by the prosecution, Kho Jabing had, over the years, been sentenced to death, then life imprisonment (with caning), then death again. This back-and-forth has taken a horrific toll not just on Kho Jabing as the inmate, but his family.
 
Furthermore, one High Court judge and two Judges of Appeal had not believed that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for Kho Jabing, as they felt that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that he had exhibited a “blatant disregard for human life”. (See Annex A, attached at the end of this statement, for relevant excerpts of the judges’ ruling.)
 
The death penalty does not simply exact an irreversible punishment, but also imposes emotional and psychological tolls on both the inmate and the family and we oppose it unconditionally.
 
Having been re-sentenced twice, from death to life and back again, Kho Jabing and his family have already been put through a deeply painful process. The knowledge that three respected and honourable judges hold the belief that the current punishment does not fit the crime simply makes the situation doubly hard to bear.
 
Kho Jabing’s case presents very strong and persuasive grounds for clemency, and that his death sentence should be immediately be set aside and commuted to life imprisonment as allowed by Singapore’s constitution.
 
We therefore urge the cabinet of Singapore to advise President Tony Tan to grant clemency to Kho Jabing without delay and re-establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.
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