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Families speak out on World Day Against the Death Penalty

Family members of death row prisoners in Singapore are calling for a halt to all executions and an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

They have stated that since March 2022, the Singapore government has executed 16 individuals in what they describe as a “violent, senseless war on drugs.”

In a recent action, five families delivered a petition, signed by 1,721 people, to the Ministry of Home Affairs. They are urging K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, to meet with them to listen to their stories and confront the impacts of the death penalty.

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SINGPORE: Family members of prisoners on death row, past and present, have demanded a halt to all executions and an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

“Since March 2022, the Singapore government has killed 16 people as part of a violent, senseless war on drugs,” the families say in their statement. “We refuse to stand by and watch as the state continues to take precious lives.”

This statement was read out to the press today by Sarah and Kellvina. Sarah’s brother Masoud was arrested for drugs while he was still serving National Service and is currently among the youngest prisoners on death row. Kellvina’s uncle Kalwant Singh was executed last year. She flew down from Malaysia to be here for the action today.

Before issuing the press statement, five families delivered a petition calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, pending an independent and transparent review, to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The petition has been signed by 1,721 people—both loved ones of death row prisoners and people in Singapore from all walks of life.

The families also called on K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, to meet with them: “As the most vocal and determined advocate in government for the continued use of the death penalty, we urge him to face us, the victims of this barbaric cruelty. We want him to listen to our stories, to our pain, and confront our humanity.”

The full statement from the families is attached below.

STATEMENT FROM FAMILIES OF PRISONERS ON DEATH ROW

We are the family members of death row prisoners, past and present. Just a few of us are here today, but we stand here on behalf of many more families in Singapore, Malaysia and beyond, whose lives have been devastated by Singapore’s ruthless and
senseless war on drugs. Some of us will live forever with the memory of how violently our beloved family members’ lives were taken, while they were defenceless prisoners.

For the rest of us, we live with the certain horror of our loved ones’ executions that draw nearer each day.

Here today are Nazira, Kellvina, Sarah, Sharifah and Halinda. We are mothers, sisters and nieces. Nazira’s brother Nazeri was killed last year at the age of 64. Kellvina, whose beloved uncle Kalwant was also taken from her last year, has flown in from KL to be here
today.

Both men fought their executions till the very end. Kalwant memorably said he will “fight till the noose is around my neck”. They are not here to fight anymore, but we are, and so we fight on, in their name, and the names of the more than 50 others who currently live on death row in Singapore.

Sarah’s brother Masoud is one of the youngest prisoners on death row. He was arrested when he was only 20 years old, still young enough to be serving NS at the time.

Sharifah’s brother Syed moved many Singaporeans’ hearts with the letter he wrote when he got an execution notice during some of the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Halinda’s son, Izwan is on death row too.

Since March 2022, the Singapore government has killed 16 people as part of a violent, senseless war on drugs. We cannot lose any more lives. We refuse to stand by and watch as the state continues to take precious lives.

As resistance to the death penalty in Singapore has grown locally and internationally, the government has doubled down on its stubborn insistence on taking life.

As our loved ones on death row have come together to challenge unjust laws and practices, conditions on death row have worsened, with many of them claiming they are facing various forms of abuse, deprivation and intimidation.

Some of us family members have lost our jobs and our families for speaking up against the death penalty. But we will not stop fighting for justice, because the cost of staying silent is heavier.

We seek an immediate moratorium of the death penalty, and a transparent and independent review of the use of capital punishment in Singapore. We have submitted a petition calling for a moratorium, on behalf of 1721 of us, to the Ministry of Home Affairs
earlier today.

We have asked the Minister for Law and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam, to meet with us. As the most vocal and determined advocate in government for the continued use of the death penalty, we urge him to face us, the victims of this barbaric cruelty. We want him
to listen to our stories, to our pain, and confront our humanity.

In recent weeks and months, Minister Shanmugam has been giving speeches at venues around Singapore, asserting his belief that the death penalty for drugs is essential to “save lives”.

We, and others who care about ending the death penalty, don’t get to speak at these venues. We don’t get any of the platforms he has access to, and, in fact, we are actively prevented from sharing our experiences and perspectives.

If the government has so much faith that it stands on the side of truth, justice and people’s welfare, why is it afraid to let us speak, to let the public hear what we have to say?

The government has millions of dollars to pump into messages that paint a terrifying and skewed portrait of drugs, people who use drugs, and those who get entangled in the drug trade. All we have is our love, our truth, and our voice. And we will keep using it.

Tomorrow is World Day Against the Death Penalty. We believe sincerely that the least the Minister can do, in commemoration of this day, is to grant us the dignity of being heard.

If his belief in the death penalty is an honest one, then he should allow it to be challenged, and see if it can stand up in light of the truths we have to share.

The petition we’ve submitted contains the names and signatures of people from all walks of life, across Singapore. Through various outreach efforts, most of the people that volunteers encountered when approaching them with the petition were willing to sign in support of a moratorium on the death penalty, especially once they heard a little bit more about how the death penalty is implemented here.

It is clear that views on the death penalty in Singapore are shifting. An immediate moratorium on executions is necessary so that an independent review can be undertaken, and Singaporeans can be properly educated on the death penalty before they make up their minds about it.

Most Singaporeans have not had the chance to understand the reality of the war on drugs or the death penalty, because all they have been forced to listen to, in school, in the media, and in public discourse, is distorted government propaganda. Alternate views and
evidence are censored and silenced aggressively. This cannot be the context in which public support is used to justify the continued use of the death penalty.

As a society, we need to urgently re-examine our values and confront the brutality of the death penalty that is carried out in all of our names. This is blood on our hands, and it is time we washed it off.

The cruelty of the death penalty is only made worse by a legal system stacked against accused persons in capital cases.

Tomorrow, on World Day Against the Death Penalty, 38 prisoners on death row will go before the court to challenge the Post-Appeal in Capital Cases Act, a recent law that further undermines their right to access the courts.

Never before have so many death row prisoners united to challenge state repression of their rights. We draw strength from their solidarity, and cheer them on.

Our loved ones on death row live in torturous conditions, suffering various forms of abuse and deprivation. With temperatures rising, many of them worry that they will die from the heat in their cells, deprived of proper ventilation.

We have also urged the Minister to meet with death row prisoners directly to understand their plight and act with urgency to improve the conditions on death row.

We hope to get a response from the Minister by 16th October, 2023, a week from today, and we have communicated the same to him.

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U Think, U Can Handle The Truth, The Real Truth & Nothing But The Truth?
Use Your Discernment. If U R Brave Enough, Watch The Whole Video, Just Bear With The Ads.

https://bestnewshere.com/q-what-comes-next-will-shock-the-world

Snake is shameless, his words are worthless

Dear Minister of Law and Home Affairs, just imagine your son kena sabo, people put d**gs in his car or boot, and he kena caught. What would you have done? 1. Spend all your money to ensure he gets the best lawyer? 2. Have a close deal r/s with the police or judges since you’re in charge of MHA, or he’s considered a white horse? 3. Sentence him to death? You choose which would you have chosen? Regardless of situations and circumstances the inmates were in, their lives are as precious to their loved ones, as your very own children… Read more »

Will he meet this group of people? I don’t think he will. He is incompetent and the worse Law Minister to date. He cannot even keep drugs from HDB dwellers but makes a big show of the hangings. As humans we always want to save lives but not this Monster of a Law Minister who justifies the hangings. Only if their own children or family members hang themselves will this Monster know the crime he is committing against humanity.

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