Stop the hanging to death of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu, victim of MANDATORY Death Penalty

Stop the hanging to death of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu, victim of MANDATORY Death Penalty?

Malaysia must stop plans to hang 34 year old Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu. He was convicted of murder, and that carries a MANDATORY death penalty. Now, that Malaysia is in the process of abolishing the death penalty, starting with the Mandatory Death Penalty… 

Both our de factor law Minister, Nacy Shukri, and the Attorney General has expressed their position against the MANDATORY death penalty – and the Minister even said that the proposed amendments to the law may be tabled in this March session of Parliament. As such, logically and reasonably, there must be no hangings carried out at this time.

We recall also the efforts of our royalty, and the government in recent times that have successfully stopped executions, and urge that the same be done…again – Let’s save the life of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu

 

 We recall the case of Chandran s/o Paskaran, who was convicted for a murder in 2003 and sentenced to death by the Johor Baru High Court in 2008.  His execution scheduled for 7/2/2014 was known a few days before that date. This knowledge moved concerned persons and groups including the Malaysian Bar to do the needful to try safe a life. At the eleventh hour, compassion moved the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan of Johore, who intervened and stopped the hanging of Chandran s/o Paskaran.


Then, in March 2014, we have  the  case of  Osariakhi Ernest Obayangbon (aka Philip Michael), who was convicted of murder, and was alleged to have been on death row for 18 years, who was scheduled to hang on 14/3/2014.


Yet again, prior notice of impending execution moved people to action. The Government of Malaysia, and in particular Nancy Shukri, the de facto law Minister, and Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail, the then Attorney General,  then acted to obtain a stay of execution.  –MADPET:- WHEN PENDING EXECUTION IS NOT A ‘SECRET’, WE ACT TO SAVE LIVES – MINISTER INFORMS OF 2 WHO WERE HANGED IN 2014, WHICH WE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT.(1/12/2015)

 

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan of Kedah (or Perak), can intervene and stop the hanging of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu [since, the alleged murder happened in Kedah, it is more likely that it is the Kedah Sultan that have the power to stop the hanging. But, then since the hanging may be carried out in Taiping, then the Sultan of Perak certainly may have the power to stop this hanging happening in Perak, in my opinion]

 

Given AG Apandi Ali’s position against Mandatory Death Penalty, I do hope that he intervenes to do the needful. He believes that the discretion when it comes to sentencing should rest with the judiciary – and as such, he objects to MANDATORY death penalty. [In fact, after our Malaysian laws are amended, and mandatory death penalty is removed – returning sentencing discretion to Judges, it is only proper that all mandatory death penalty sentences be reviewed by the Judiciary, and hopefully will be commutted.]

 

Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali said he will propose to the Cabinet that the mandatory death penalty be scrapped, so that judges are given the option to choose between sentencing a person to jail or the gallows. He said mandatory death sentences were a “paradox”, as it robbed judges of their discretion to impose sentences on convicted criminals.
“If I had my way, I would introduce the option for the judge in cases where it involves capital punishment. Give the option to the judge either to hang him or send him to prison. “Then we’re working towards a good administration of criminal justice,” Apandi told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview.A-G seeking to abolish mandatory death penalty

 

 

Press Release

 

March 23, 2016

Malaysia: Stop execution of prisoner due to be hanged on Friday

The Malaysian government must halt the execution of a 34-year-old man due to be hanged this Friday for murder, said Amnesty International.

Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu’s mother was today advised by officials at Taiping Prison, northern Malaysia, to visit her son for the “last time” and make arrangements for his funeral. Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu was convicted of murder, an offence which attracts the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.

“Executing Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu would be a regressive step for human rights in Malaysia,” said Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Campaign Director for South-East Asia and the Pacific.

“The mandatory death penalty is a clear breach of human rights regardless of the crime committed. The authorities must step in to prevent this brutal act taking place before it is too late, and instead commute Gunasegar’s death sentence.”

Amnesty International has consistently criticized Malaysia’s practice of “secretive” executions. Information on scheduled hangings is not made public before, or even after, they are carried out – contrary to international standards on the use of the death penalty.

Instead, Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu’s mother Nagarani Sandasamy today received a letter from Taiping Prison officials informing her that he will be executed “soon” and advising her to visit him tomorrow morning. The family was also advised to discuss arrangements to claim the prisoner’s body for his funeral.

Nagarani Sandasamy last visited her son a week ago, when neither were aware that the 34-year-old was scheduled to be hanged just a week later.

Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu was sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing of a man in Sungai Petani, Kedah state, on 16 April 2005.

“As discussions on abolishing the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia continue, the Malaysian government must immediately put in place a moratorium on all executions as a first step towards full abolition of the death penalty,” said Josef Benedict.

Background

No information is made publicly available on individual death penalty cases in Malaysia, while families are often informed at the last minute that their loved ones will be executed.

Senior government officials recently said Malaysia was considering abolishing the mandatory death penalty, which is currently the punishment for crimes including murder and drug-related offenses.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.

The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

International law and standards prohibit the mandatory imposition of the death penalty as constituting arbitrary deprivation of life, as it denies judges the possibility of taking into account the defendant’s personal circumstances or the circumstances of the particular offense. – Amnesty International

Thursday, 24 March 2016 | MYT 11:36 AM

Convict’s family distraught over last-minute notice of execution

by qishin tariq

PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International Malaysia has come out strongly against what it calls the Prisons Department’s practice of “secretive” executions, in the latest case informing a family of the execution of their son at the last minute.

Its executive director Shamini Darshni said that the family of convict P. Gunasegar (pic), 35, was only informed on Wednesday that they should visit him for the last time as he would be executed “soon”.

In the letter by the Taiping Prison’s Department, the family was also advised to discuss arrangements to claim Gunasegar’s body for his funeral.

“The mother, Nagarani Sandasamy had visited Gunasegar last week, and both were unaware that the 34-year-old was scheduled to hang just a week later,” Shamini said.

She added though no date was given, convicts were usually executed on Fridays after morning prayers.

She told The Star that it was common for families not to be given a date, calling the practice “heartless”.

Gunasegar was on death row for his role in the murder of B. Venukumar, then 24, on April 4, 2005.

Amnesty International stated its concern on Malaysia’s practice of “secretive” executions, saying transparency on the use of the death penalty was an essential safeguard in such cases, as it allowed for greater scrutiny and meaningful debate on the issue.

Shamini called on the authorities to stop of the execution and commute the death sentence to life imprisonment, saying that executing Gunasegar would be an enormous step backwards on human rights for Malaysia.

As discussions on abolishing the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia continue, the Malaysian government must immediately put in place a moratorium on all executions as a first step towards full abolition of the death penalty.”

In court documents sighted by The Star, Gunasegar  was charged, together with J. Ramesh and J. Sasivarnam, with murdering Venukumar at a playground in Taman Ria Raya, Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Though the trio claimed during the trial that they had been attacked by a group, which included Venukumar and only defended themselves, the High Court found them guilty in 2011.

The decision was later affirmed by the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt or innocence of the individual, or the method used to carry out the execution.- Star, 24/3/2016

Amnesty International pleads lifetime jail instead of gallows for Taiping convict

Wednesday March 23, 2016

11:09 PM GMT+8

Amnesty International Malaysia has condemned the impending ‘last minute’ execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for March 25, 2016. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Amnesty International Malaysia condemned today the “last minute” execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for this Friday, calling it a violation of human rights.

The human rights watchdog claimed that the prisoner’s family was notified only this week that he is to be hanged on Friday and was unaware of it a week ago, which was a violation of human rights.

“The mother, Nagarani Sandasamy, had visited Gunasegar last week, and both were unaware that the 34-year-old was scheduled to hang just a week later,” the body’s executive director Shamini Darshini said in a statement today.

The group also alleged that the “secretive” execution was not in line with international standards on the use of the death penalty and pleaded with Putrajaya to commute the execution.

“We call upon the Malaysian government to immediately halt all plans to execute Gunasegar, and to commute existing death sentences to life imprisonment.

“As discussions on abolishing the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia continue, the Malaysian government must immediately put in place a moratorium on all executions as a first step towards full abolition of the death penalty,” Shamini added.

The group also reiterated its stand that it was against the mandatory death penalty as it “violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”

Gunasegar was sentenced in 2011 alongside two others including his brother for murdering a 25-year old man in 2005.- Malay Mail

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/amnesty-international-pleads-lifetime-jail-instead-of-gallows-for-taiping-c#sthash.mWFq5mZn.dpuf

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