Tangaraju’s Unjust Execution

The practice of judicial execution in Singapore is deeply disturbing and unsettling. The use of capital punishment in Singapore raises serious ethical questions about the role the state has in taking the life of an individual. Capital punishment is applied unevenly and unfairly, with marginalized communities disproportionately affected. There is always a risk of error, which means that innocent people could be put to their deaths.

NGOs and news media have reported that Thangaraju has been imprisoned for a long time. Sebaran Kasih would like to question the prison system on the fundamental needs that every human being deserves. When did Thangaraju breathe fresh air or feel the warmth of the sun on his skin? When was the last time he was embraced by his family? Despite the severity of his punishment, the rules of the condemned cell in Singapore show little compassion for even those on death row.

Singapore's strict death-row visiting laws prohibit home-cooked food and physical contact in the condemned cell, leaving family members wondering about the family touches and love every human deserves, especially during their final days. Has Thangaraju been able to enjoy his favorite food? It is heart-wrenching to think that he may not even be allowed to savor a final meal cooked by his loved ones. Is this level of cruelty necessary?

Sebaran Kasih questions when Thangaraju last had any contact with his family, and why death row prisoners have been denied the opportunity to say physical goodbye in person. These cruel conditions are unacceptable.

Furthermore, Thangaraju's case must be treated with fairness, transparency, and justice, ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent errors and discrimination. It is alarming that he has been denied legal representation to begin with, a basic right for someone on death row.

It is vital to recognize that crime is a multifaceted issue with various social, political, and legal factors at play. In a significant development, Malaysia's parliament has made recent reforms that will result in major changes in the country's legal system. One of the most notable changes is the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, which will spare more than 1,300 prisoners currently on death row. This reform marks a significant step towards a more humane and just legal system in Malaysia.

Singapore's continued use of capital punishment for drug-related crimes goes against international law and must be reconsidered. Singapore has signed a binding treaty with customary international rules and regulations. However, Singapore has committed internationally wrongful acts which constitute a violation of international law. In such situations, Singapore has to be responsible for violating international law and it has to face the consequences.

Sebaran Kasih is urgently calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to demand that the Government of Singapore immediately halt the execution of Thangaraju on April 26, 2023, and impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. 

It is time for the United Nations General Assembly Human Rights to take action against Singapore and all offenders for their inhumane acts against prisoners. It is only by taking compassionate and thoughtful actions, that we can hope to create a more just and humane world.

Kindly consider the perspectives and experiences of all those affected by the death penalty in Singapore, not only the offenders, but their family members.

May justice and mercy prevail in Thangaraju's case.

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