EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 28/07/91
This request for action is being sent to seven sections only by
e-mail/telex/fax only as a limited number of appeals is needed. Please organize
up to fifteen appeals per section.
EXTRA 55/91 Death Penalty 21 August 1991
MALAYSIA Rusli bin Man
Mat Sharif bin Sulaiman
On 7 August 1991 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals of two men sentenced
to death on 5 April 1987 by the Alor Star High Court for drug trafficking.
Rusli bin Man, a labourer, and Mat Sharif bin Sulaiman, a petrol pump operator,
had been found guilty of trafficking in 4,266gm of cannabis at Kampong Baru,
Kedah on 28 December 1983.
All death sentences in Malaysia are automatically reviewed by a Pardons
Board. As the cases of Rusli bin Man and Mat Sharif bin Sulaiman were originally
heard by the Alor Star High Court, their cases will be reviewed by the Pardons
Board for Kedah. It will pass it's recommendations to the Yang di-Pertuan
Agong (King), who has sole authority to grant pardon or suspend or commute
the sentence. This is the last avenue of appeal for clemency. To Amnesty
International's knowledge, however, there have been only two occasions when
a Pardon's Board has recommended commutation of a death sentence.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (this is the same as TLX 48/91)
The death penalty is provided for under a number of laws in Malaysia and is
mandatory for some firearms offences, murder and for certain drugs offences.
From 1985 to the end of December 1990, 84 executions took place to Amnesty
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation
of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or
degrading punishment, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that Rusli bin Man and Mat Sharif bin Sulaiman have been
sentenced to death and that as this decision has been upheld by the Supreme
Court they may face execution;
- stating Amnesty International's unconditional opposition to the death
- urging that the sentence be commuted and that no more death sentences be