The presidential clemency is the final mechanism for appeal. Shanmugam is due to be hanged on or before the first week of May 2005. Please write to the president requesting him to commute the death sentence to imprisonment.
Think Centre Calls for a moratorium on Death Penalty
Think Centre calls on the government to declare a moratorium on death sentences. And urge the government to plan for gradual abolition of the death penalty and to seek alternatives to the death penalty. The death penalty is a "cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment." Think Centre calls to remove the mandatory capital punishment for simple possession of drugs. The mandatory death sentence must be removed. The laws have to be changed to permit judicial discretion and fairness for drug cases.
A PLEA TO SINGAPORE PRESIDENT: SAVE THE LIFE OF SHANMUGAM S/O MURUGESU
Shanmugram Murugesu, a Singaporean, 38, was arrested on the 29 August 2003 at Tuas Checkpoint. A search was conducted on his motorcycle and was found to contain 6 packets of cannabis.
The 6 packets of cannabis contain 1,029.8 grams of cannabis, and 880.89 grams of cannabis mixture.
At the trial the prosecution proceeded on a capital charge of importing 1029.8 grams (nett) of cannabis under s.7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cap. 185.
After the trial at the High Court in April 2004, he was convicted as charged and sentenced to suffer death. His appeal against conviction and sentence of death was heard in the Court of Appeal on 26/10/2004. The appeal was dismissed.
Shanmugum had served in the Singapore Armed Forces for 8 years and in other government sectors like the Singapore Sports Council for another 4 years. He had also represented Singapore in water sports events like the 1995 World Championship Jetski Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA.
Before his arrest, Shanmugram worked as a taxidriver and a free-lance window cleaner to support his sons and mother. He also contributed income to his sister and her 3 children. He did not have any previous convictions except for a minor traffic offence. After his divorce in 2002, he was awarded custody of mhis twin sons, now aged 14. After the divorce he had lost interest in life and became a victim of drug abuse.
Shanmugam come from a poor Indian Singaporean family and had a younger sister and 1 younger brother. His sister is divorced and has 3 children and his brother is a police officer attached to the Marine Police. He was in desperate financial circumstances which led him to commit the offence.
The financial burdens on him were heavy as he had to look after the financial needs of his sons, nieces, nephews and mother. His parents were divorced and the mother who is in her 60's, is in poor health. She is unable to work and is financially supported by him and the brother. Since his arrest, the mother has been looking after the sons who are both studying in secondary three.
Plea to save from execution
Twins Gopalan and Krishnan Murugesu, 14, distributed more than 500 flyers detailing their fatehrs Shanmugam's plight. They plea for help to save their father, Shanmugam Murugesu, from being executed after he was convicted and sentenced to hang last April for drug trafficking. They are collecting signature for a petition against the execution, saying their father's death would make them orphans.
The petition will be submitted the president of singapore requesting the death sentence be commuted to imprisonment.
The presidential clemency is the final mechanism for appeal. Shanmugam is due to be hanged on or before the first week of May 2005.
Please write to the president requesting him to commute the death sentence of Shanmugam Murugesu to imprisonment.
SEND APPEALS TO:
His Excellency S R Nathan
Office of the President
Istana, Orchard Road
Republic of Singapore 0922
Faxes: + 65 738 4673
C.C. Copies to:
The Honourable Goh Chok Tong
Office of the Senior Minister
Fax:+ 65 - 67324627
The Honourable Lee Hsien Loong
Office of the Prime Minister
Fax: + 65 - 63328983
Wong Kan Seng
Minister of Home Affairs
New Phoenix Park 28,
Fax: + 65 6734 4420
Sources and Relevant Links:
Think Centre Think Centre Calls for a moratorium on Death Penalty