Singapore – Anti-Death Penalty Activist, Kirsten Han summoned over Singapore vigil for Prabagaran

Human Rights Defender and Anti-Death Penalty Advocate Kirsten Han being investigated for ‘illegal assembly’ about 7 weeks after ‘candle light vigil’ outside Changi Prison for Prabagaran Srivijiyan hours before he was hanged on 14/7/2017. Harassment?

Kirsten-Han

Activist summoned over Singapore vigil for Prabagaran

FMT Reporters

| September 5, 2017

 

Kirsten Han says she has been told to present herself for questioning after she attended a candlelight vigil for Prabagaran outside Changi Prison the night before he was executed.

PETALING JAYA: An activist and freelance journalist has been summoned over her participation in a candlelight vigil in Singapore for Malaysian S Prabagaran, who was hanged in the city state about two months ago.

Kirsten Han had attended the vigil outside Changi Prison on July 13, the night before Prabagaran was hanged.

In a Facebook post yesterday, she said the small group had put up photos of the 29-year-old and lit tea lights. About 15 minutes later, however, police officers arrived on the scene and told them they were not allowed to light candles or put up photos, and that the objects would have to be confiscated.

“We complied – we blew out the candles and handed them over (after a little while, because they were hot).

“We were then told that we could stay outside the prison as long as we didn’t light candles or set up any more photos,” she said.

On Sept 3, however, two police officers showed up at her house and handed her a letter saying that they were investigating an offence of “taking part in a public assembly without a permit”.

The letter also summoned Han to present herself for questioning as she “may be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case”.

Han said she was not able to make the time scheduled in the letter but was told by the officers that it would be possible to reschedule.

“I understand that it is the police’s duty to protect law and order and to uphold the laws of our country.

“But when a simple, non-violent, quiet vigil for a man about to be hanged by the state is deemed an illegal assembly worthy of a police investigation, perhaps it is time to think about whether we are striking the right balance between public order, freedom of assembly and compassion,” she said.

Prabagaran was convicted for drug trafficking in Singapore and hanged after the country’s Court of Appeal dismissed his application to stay his execution.

He was convicted in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, was found in his car at the Singaporean immigration checkpoint as he tried to enter the country.

However, he maintained his innocence, claiming that he did not own the car he drove and was not aware of the drugs being in it.

Earlier this year, he turned to the Malaysian courts to compel the government to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

On March 24, Prabagaran failed to obtain leave at the Kuala Lumpur High Court to compel the Malaysian government to start proceedings against Singapore.- FMT, 5/9/2017

Function 8: Stop harassment and intimidation of citizens participating in civil society activities

Local non-government organisation, Function 8 has issued a statement to condemn the police harassment of anti-death penalty activists who held a vigil outside Changi Prison on the night of 13 July 2017 for Prabagaran Srivijayan who was to be executed at dawn on 14 July 2017. Members of Prabagaran’s family were at the vigil, and anti-death penalty activists turned up to support the grieving family members.

Function 8 states that Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore guarantees the right of citizens to freedom of speech, expression and assembly.

“The act of issuing and having the police personally delivering letters which require the said activists to appear at police stations to assist in investigations, almost two months after the event, goes against the spirit of our Constitution and is a waste of Police resources. We call upon the Minister for Home Affairs to rescind the action of the police, to cease the investigation, and to stop the harassment and intimidation of citizens participating in civil society activities.” wrote the NGO. – Online Citizen, 4/9/2017 

* The Online Citizen also have a photo of Kristen Han’s FB post, and a video

Kirsten Han is from We Believe in Second Chances, a member of ADPAN

Singapore/Malaysia -‘Prabagaran maintained his innocence until the end’

 ‘Prabagaran maintained his innocence until the end’

| July 15, 2017

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who was hanged to death at the Changi Prison yesterday, accepted his fate but always maintained his innocence, says We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han.

Kirsten-Han-S.-Prabagaran

 

PETALING JAYA: S. Prabagaran, who was executed in Singapore on Friday for drug trafficking, accepted his fate but maintained his innocence until the end.

 

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who is from Johor Baru, was hanged to death at the Changi Prison yesterday and was cremated at the Mandai crematorium in Singapore.

 

We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han said those who were with him said he was jovial and joking with the prison guards even during the approaching hours of the execution.

 

“Prabagaran always told his cousin that he was innocent but that he accepted his fate,” The Star quoted Han as saying.

 

Prabagaran was convicted in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, was found in his car at the Singaporean immigration checkpoint as he tried to enter the country.

 

He maintained his innocence, claiming that he did not own the car he drove and was not aware of the drugs being in it.

 

Earlier this year, he turned to the Malaysian courts to compel the government to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

 

On March 24, Prabagaran failed to obtain leave at the Kuala Lumpur High Court to compel the Malaysian government to start proceedings against Singapore.

 

On Thursday, lawyer N Surendran said Singapore’s Court of Appeal had dismissed Prabagaran’s application to stay his execution pending his case in the Malaysian courts.

 

 

He told FMT the appeals court had ruled that Singapore is a sovereign nation and that it would not wait for the outcome of proceedings in Malaysia.

 

Amnesty International criticised the execution, saying it was a shocking violation of the human right to life.

 

“That an appeal was pending in this case in his home country at the time of execution, and that there were serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, underlines a flagrant disregard for due process in profoundly dubious circumstances,” said its director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, James Gomez. – FMT News, 15/7/2017

 

See other news stories

 

UN urges Singapore to halt Malaysian’s execution
InternationalYahoo Singapore NewsJul 11, 2017

FIDH calls for Singapore to halt its execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan

The Online CitizenJul 12, 2017
Paris, 12 July 2017 – Singaporean authorities must halt the execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan, FIDH said today. Prabagaran, a 29-year-old …

Singapore: Malaysian facing imminent execution for drugs conviction after unfair trial(Amnesty International)

PRESS RELEASE

 

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

 

11 July 2017

 

Singapore: Malaysian facing imminent execution for drugs conviction after unfair trial

 

The Singaporean authorities must halt the imminent execution of a Malaysian man convicted of importing drugs amid serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, Amnesty International said today.

 

PrabagaranSrivijayan’s execution has been scheduled for this Friday, 14 July 2017, according to his family who were informed last week. PrabagaranSrivijayan was convicted of drug trafficking and given a mandatory death sentence in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine was found in the arm rest of a car he borrowed. He has consistently maintained his innocence.

 

“There are only four days left to save PrabagaranSrivijayan’s life before he is cruelly dragged to the gallows. The Singaporean authorities must immediately halt his execution before another person suffers this inhumane and irreversible punishment,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

 

PrabagaranSrivijayan’s legal team have raised serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, including the authorities’ failure to follow up leads and call on key witnesses that would corroborate his version of events.

 

His legal representatives also launched a case in Malaysia in March 2017 to urge the country to seek the intervention of the International Court of Justice, with an appeal on the matter still being considered at the Court of Appeal. International safeguards for death row prisoners clearly state that the death penalty must not be carried out while appeals are pending.

 

“The death penalty is always a violation of the human right to life, and the circumstances around this case make the Singaporean authorities’ eagerness to go ahead with the execution even more disturbing,” said James Gomez.

 

“Not only has PrabagaranSrivijayan’s legal team highlighted serious flaws in his trial, there is also an appeal on his case pending in Malaysia. Singapore would be flaunting international law if this execution is carried out.”

 

Background

 

Under Singaporean law, when there is a presumption of drug possession and trafficking, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecutor to the defendant. This violates the right to a fair trial in international human rights law by turning the presumption of innocence on its head.

 

Drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law and standards, which also prohibit the imposition of the death penalty as a mandatory punishment.

 

Since Singapore ended a moratorium on executions in 2014, the authorities have executed at least ten people, including seven for drug trafficking. In 2016, four people were executed – two for murder and two for drug trafficking – while at least 38 people were known to be on death row at the end of that year.

 

Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty outright, regardless of the crime. As of today 103 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and 141 are abolitionist in law or practice.

 

For further information, please see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa36/6687/2017/en/