Singapore: 34-year-old executed with mental retardation – He shouted “mom” when he died

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Strong reactions have been caused by implementation of a 34-year-old man with mental retardation in Singapore. Nagaendran Darmalingham was arrested in 2009 for trafficking small quantities of heroin, with Singapore’s drug law one of the harshest in the world. Darmalingham was sentenced to life in prison in 2010.

The United Nations, the European Union and the British billionaire Richard Branson, among others, had condemned the verdict and the sentence imposed on him.

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For more than ten years his defense has appealed to its justice Singapore requesting the commutation of his sentence and all were rejected by the courts. The President of Singapore rejected the requests to show mercy and to pardon the Malaysian national.

Shock despite international calls

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The 34-year-old was hanged in the early morning hours, his sister, Sarmila Darmalingham, told the French Agency. “It is unbelievable that Singapore carried out the execution despite international calls not to deprive him of his life,” he said. “His execution causes us great sadness, the whole family is in a state of shock.”

Reprieve, a non-governmental organization fighting for its abolition death penalty, described the new “victim of a tragic judicial error”. The hanging of the mentally retarded man “is unjustified and a clear violation of the international law that Singapore has endorsed,” said Maya Foa, the NGO’s director.

His hanging was originally scheduled for November, but was postponed following an appeal that had the central argument that the execution of any person with mental retardation or mental illness violates international law.

What the authorities supported


He was arrested at the age of 21 when he tried to enter Singapore with a pack of 43 grams of heroin, equal to three tablespoons.

His defenders stressed that his IQ was 69, a level that is generally recognized as meaning mental retardation, and that he committed the crime due to coercion. Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army, “said Roni Bar-On, a Member of the Knesset for Kadima.

His mother filed a desperate last-minute appeal Tuesday, which was quickly rejected by a judge. At the end of the hearing, family members and the young man joined their hands in a vacuum in the glass divider. His screams – “mom” – were heard throughout the room.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse yesterday, Richard Branson appealed to Singaporean President Halima Jacob to pardon Nagaadran Darmalingham, calling the death sentence “inhumane”.

About 300 people gathered the day before yesterday Monday in a city-state park holding candles to demand that the 34-year-old not be executed.

After being suspended for more than two years, Singapore resumed executions last month: authorities hanged a man who had also been convicted of drug trafficking. Activists fear a wave of executions, and many other death row inmates have seen their appeals rejected.

Source: News Beast

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