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UA 256/91 - Malaysia: death penalty / legal concern: Atari Pawael, Radja Sappayani, Mario Eppa, Jul Alih, Abdul Rizal Cesar, Hassim Hj Escandar, Antoni Julkani, Khairulla Khan, Shorin Khan, Kullah Lawari, Edjing Abdullah, Antoni Najali, Assiddin Itting, R

, N° d'index: ASA 28/004/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 28/04/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 256/91 Death Penalty/Legal Concern 24 July 1991
MALAYSIA: Atari Pawael (Filipino)
Radja Sappayani (Filipino)
Mario Eppa (Filipino)
Jul Alih (Filipino)
Abdul Rizal Cesar (Filipino)
Hassim Hj Escandar (Filipino)
Antoni Julkani (Filipino)
Khairulla Khan (Pakistani)
Shorin Khan (Pakistani)
Kullah Lawari (Filipino)
Edjing Abdullah (Filipino)
Antoni Najali (Filipino)
Assiddin Itting (Filipino)
Rudi Jamjali (Filipino)
Talib Sahijuan (Filipino)
The fifteen people above have all been sentenced to death for drug offences
allegedly committed in the state of Sabah. The first five are awaiting an appeal
for clemency to the Head of State of Sabah, and the other ten have appealed
for a re-hearing in the Supreme Court. Amnesty International is seriously
concerned that the fifteen have been sentenced to death in trials which may
have fallen short of international standards. The fifteen were allegedly
tortured and forced to sign statements written in Malay, which they were unable
to read and understand. They were disadvantaged by language difficulties during
the trials and have been denied contact with their respective embassies.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking in Malaysia, under a 1983
Amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952. Trafficking is presumed if a
person is found in possession of 15 grammes or more of heroin or morphine,
1000 grammes or more of opium or 200 grammes or more of cannabis. The Deputy
Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayub, was reported to have said, on
20 June 1991, that Malaysia has sentenced 385 people to death for drug
trafficking since 1983 and has hanged 126 of them.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters:
- stating Resolution 1984/50 on safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights
of those facing the death penalty, adopted by the United Nations ECOSOC on
25 May 1984: (5) "Capital punishment may only be carried out pursuant to a
final judgement rendered by a competent court after legal process which gives
all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial,...";
- expressing grave concern at allegations that the fifteen suffered torture
and ill-treatment;
- urging a full investigation into the trials and treatment of these fifteen
and an immediate stay of execution;
- stating Amnesty International's unconditional opposition to the death
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penalty.
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APPEALS TO:
The Head of State of Sabah
[Salutation: Your Excellency]
Istana
Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
MALAYSIA
Telegrams: Head of State, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Telexes: 80948 DEWAN MA
Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan
[Salutation: Your Excellency]
Chief Minister of Sabah State
Office of the Chief Minister
Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
MALAYSIA
Telegrams: Chief Minister, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,
Malaysia
YB Datuk Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar
[Salutation: Your Excellency]
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
21st Floor
Bangunan Kuwasa
Jalan Raja Laut
50506 Kuala Lumpur
MALAYSIA
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telexes: 33548 HAKIM MA
Faxes: + 329 34754
COPIES TO:
diplomatic representatives of Malaysia, Philippines and Pakistan in your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 4 September 1991.

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