The Singaporean authorities must halt the imminent execution of Micheal Anak Garing, a Malaysian national, Amnesty International said today.
Garing and another man, both from Sarawak, Malaysia, were convicted of murder by the High Court of Singapore in 2014 for killing a man during an armed robbery that took place in 2010. Garing was sentenced to death.
His family was recently informed that his execution is scheduled to take place on Friday 22 March.
Once again, Singapore threatens to inflict the kind of cruelty it claims to oppose. No matter how heinous the crime, the death penalty is a degrading and inhuman punishment. We denounce its use in all circumstancesRachel Chhoa-Howard, Singapore Researcher at Amnesty International
“Once again, Singapore threatens to inflict the kind of cruelty it claims to oppose. No matter how heinous the crime, the death penalty is a degrading and inhuman punishment. We denounce its use in all circumstances,” said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Singapore Researcher at Amnesty International. “The Singaporean authorities must immediately halt their plans to carry out this callous execution.”
This would be the first execution to take place in Singapore this year that Amnesty International is aware of. The Singaporean authorities carried out 13 executions in 2018, but details of the executions are not publicly available.
“The number of executions in Singapore surged into double digits last year, for the first time since 2003,” said Rachel Chhoa-Howard. “This is a deeply concerning escalation. We urge the authorities to change course and re-establish the moratorium on executions, as a first step towards their abolition.”
We urge the authorities to change course and re-establish the moratorium on executions, as a first step towards their abolition.Rachel Chhoa-Howard
When Micheal Anak Garing and his co-defendant were charged, a conviction of murder carried the mandatory death penalty. Following amendments to Singapore’s Penal Code that came into effect in 2013, murder without an explicit intention to kill became punishable by life imprisonment and caning, or, at the judge’s discretion, by the imposition of a sentence of death. At the co-defendants’ sentencing in April 2015, Garing was sentenced to death, having been identified as the one who inflicted lethal wounds on the victim – a fact that he later contested in his appeal to the Court of Appeal, which was rejected in 2017. His co-defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane.
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 offender, 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.
As of today, 106 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and 142 in total are abolitionist in law or practice. In 2017 the death penalty was imposed or implemented for drug-related crime in 15 countries, against international law and standards. Amnesty International recorded executions for drug-related offences in only four countries: China (which classifies figures as a state secret), Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Singapore retains the mandatory death penalty, in certain circumstances, for murder and drug trafficking, contrary to international safeguards and restrictions on the use of the death penalty.