SINGAPORE: Urgent intervention required for prisoner on death row 

Dear friends,

We are forwarding you information we have received from Think Centre in Singapore regarding the death penalty to a Singaporean man who faces imminent execution. Mr Shanmugm Murugesu, a father of two, has been sentenced to death for drug possession and will be executed unless Singapore President S. R. Nathan grants his petition for clemency. Meanwhile his two young sons walk the streets seeking public support for a petition against the execution of their father.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Death-row detainee Shanmugam: 2 hanged and there are 8 more

Please appeal to President S R Nathan to commute the death penalty to



Lawyer Mr M Ravi, who is acting for Mr Shanmugam, s/o Murugesu, reports that the prisoner is extremely happy to find out that a campaign is going on against his death penalty.

Mr Shanmugam was convicted for attempting to bring cannabis into Singapore in 2003 and will be hanged in a few weeks from now.

Mr Shanmugam informs that two Malay prisoners were hanged last Friday, 8 April 2005 at 6 a.m. There are another eight prisoners waiting to be hanged.

Information about the date of hanging is not made known even to the families of the prisoners. Family members are informed after the execution is carried out and told to collect the body by noon that day. Otherwise, the corpse will be cremated.

Mr Shanmugam told his lawyer that he is prepared to die if not for his helpless and ailing mother who might have a stroke (she was recently hospitalized) or even lose her life from all the trauma surrounding her son’s impending death. Mr Shanmugam says that he is afraid that the pressure on his mother will be too much for her to bear as he was especially close to her and was her only source of support as she was divorced from her husband.

Mr Shanmugam also has twin 14-year-old sons, Gopalan and Krishnan. He worries that their future will be jeopardized. Both the boys are handing out leaflets to passers-by to help them appeal to President Nathan to grant their father a pardon. Their mother left them when they were young. With the execution of their father, they will be left in the hands of their increasingly frail grandmother.

Mr Shanmugam says he regrets his mistake and asks why he is not given the opportunity to rehabilitate. He is remorseful about his deed and asks the State not to kill him in cold-blood.

He says he has co-operated fully with the police and supplied information about the person, a Mr Mok from Johor Baru, who had asked him to bring the drugs into Singapore. Mr Shanmugamhad even gave contact details and a sketch of Mr Mok but the police have not shown any interest in pursuing the real culprit and the ultimate mastermind.
?lt;br />The death-row inmate asks President Nathan to recognise his contribution to Singapore; he had won a jet ski competition in the US and had served 8 years in the army.

As bleak as his own situation is, however, Mr Shanmugam is still able to think about others in the same plight. He pleads with fellow Singaporeans and the international community to stop all these hangings in secrecy. No one, he adds, knows the grief of these families and the dependants of those who are executed.


“Please appeal to the President on my behalf,” Mr Shanmugam pleads to all Singaporeans. There is not much time left. Mr Shanmugam will be executed in a couple of weeks.

Please write to the president requesting him to commute the death sentence of Shanmugam Murugesu to imprisonment.


The President
His Excellency S R Nathan
Office of the President
Istana, Orchard Road
Republic of Singapore 0922
Faxes: + 65 738 4673

CC Copies to:

The Honourable Goh Chok Tong
Senior Minister
Office of the Senior Minister
Istana Annexe
Singapore 238823
Salutation: Dear Senior Minister

The Honourable Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Istana Annexe
Singapore 238823
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Wong Kan Seng
Minister of Home Affairs
New Phoenix Park 28,
Irrawaddy Road
Singapore 329560
Fax: + 65 6734 4420
Dear Minister

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Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-14-2005
Countries :
Issues : Death penalty,