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FORWARDED APPEAL (Singapore): Two Africans sentenced to death for drug offense

August 8, 2005

URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

8 August 2005
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FA-22-2005: SINGAPORE: Two Africans sentenced to death for drug offense

SINGAPORE: Death penalty; Right to fair trial; Rule of law
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you information regarding the death penalty imposed by the court in Singapore on two Africans for violation of prohibited drugs. The two, namely Iwuchuku Amara Tochi (19) and Okele Nelson Malachy, were arrested on 27 November 2004 at the Changi Airport in Singapore.

Tochi was arrested for allegedly carrying heroine drugs with him while Malachy was nabbed in a subsequent police operation after Tochi identified him as one of his companions. The court in Singapore handed the sentence on them reportedly after concluding its 13-day trial.

Singapore is one of the many countries in Asia who have not yet abolished or repeal capital punishment in their justice system. The death penalty, just like torture, is considered as a form of "cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment". It is a violation of a person's respect to right as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

In May 2005, a father of two children was hanged amidst the appeals from various human rights organization, including the AHRC, asking clemency to save his life. The groups have been asking for jail terms and rehabilitation instead (for details see: UP-60-2005). There are number of prisoners, including foreign nationals, facing death in Singapore (please see: UA-24-2003), however, the government has continued carrying out punishment instead of addressing these problem.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
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Singapore: Two Africans given death penalty

Both Iwuchuku Amara Tochi,19, a Nigerian and Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, who is stateless were sentence to death.

On 28 Nov 2004, Iwuchuku Amara Tochi was arrested at the Changi Airport transit lounge with heroin. Iwuchuku had with him 100 capsules of heroin about 727.02g. Okele Nelson Malachy was arrested at a coffee Bean shop at the Changi airport.

For details read the Straits Times article dated
22 July 2005 below.

The death penalty is a "cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment." It violates the right to life. The abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of this right to life.

Think Centre's call to right to life in connection with capital punishment is guided by the desirability of abolition of the death penalty which has been expressed on numerous occasions by the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Committee, the Economic and Social Council and Security Council [in its resolutions 808 (1993) of 22 February 1993 and 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994]


APPEAL

Please write to the president requesting him to commute the death sentence of Iwuchuku Amara Tochi,19, a Nigerian and Okele Nelson Malachy,33, who is stateless.

SEND APPEALS TO:

The President
His Excellency S R Nathan
Office of the President
Istana, Orchard Road
Republic of Singapore 0922
Faxes:0065 738 4673
Email: s_r_nathan@istana.gov.sg

COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Office of the Prime Minister Istana Annexe,
Orchard Road
Republic of Singapore 0923
Faxes: 0065 732 4627
Email: lee_hsien_loong@pmo.gov.sg
[Salutation: Dear Prime Minister]


Minister of Law Prof. S. Jayakumar
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
The Treasury #08-02
Singapore 179434
Fax: 0065 6332 8842
Email: supmlaw@cs.gov.sg
[Salutation: Dear Minister]

Attorney General Chan Sek Keong
Attorney General's Chambers
1 Coleman Street #10-00
Singapore 179803
Fax: 0065 6332 5984
[Salutation: Dear Attorney General]

Chief Justice Yong Pung How
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Building
St Andrew's Road
Singapore 178957
Fax: 0065 6337 9450
Email: supcourt_registry@supcourt.gov.sg
[Salutation: Dear Chief Justice]

Related links:

Singapore: Calls for immediate moratorium on the death penalty
http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/Moratorium_DP/

Singapore: AI Death Penalty Appeals http://web.amnesty.org/library/eng-sgp/index

Death Penalty: Nguyen Tuong Van appeals http://www.thinkcentre.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=2564

(04-Apr-2005)
Death-row detainee Shanmugam: 2 hanged and there are 8 more http://www.thinkcentre.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=2571


17 April 2005
Think Centre: Reaffirms Call for Moratorium on executions http://www.thinkcentre.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=2574

20 April 2005
UN Report on Capital Punishment 2001(E/CN.15/2001/10) http://www.unodc.org/pdf/crime/10_commission/10e.pdf

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes.
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/legal_library/sg/legal_library_2000-12-05_2000-52.html

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Straits Times??Fri 22, 2005:

Two convicted of heroin charge to hang
By Elena Chong

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Arrested at Changi, coffee shop outlet

Nigerian Iwuchuku Amara Tochi,19, and Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, a garment wholesaler, were given the death penalty after a 13-day trial.

Iwuchuku arrived here from Dubai on Nov 27 last year and was arrested at the transit lounge of Changi Airport Terminal 2 the next day with 100 capsules containing not less than 727.02g of heroin.

Malachy, who is stateless, was arrested at a coffee Bean outlet after mobile phone images of him taken by a Central Narcotic's Bureau Officer were shown to Iwuchukwu, who identified him.

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Two convicted of heroin charge to hang

Two men involved in importing about $1.3 million worth of high-grade heroin into Singapore were sentenced to death.

Nigerian Iwuchuku Amara Tochi,19, and Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, a garment wholesaler, displayed no emotion when Justice Kan Ting Chiu convicted them and imposed the death penalty on them?on Wednesday after a 13-day trial.

Iwuchuku arrived here from Dubai on Nov 27 last year and was arrested at the transit lounge of Changi Airport Terminal 2 the next day with 100 capsules containing not less than 727.02g of heroin. He said that someone called Mr Smith told him to pass capsules containing "African herbs" to his sick friend called "Marshall" in Singapore.

Mr Smith, he said, also handed him a book on herbs to be passed to his friend.

A supervisor at the Ambassador Transit Hotel had reported him to the police after her suspicions were aroused when he tried to book a room, after having spent 24 hours in the airport's transit areas.

When airport police search his bags, Iwuchukwu took out a bucket-shaped Maltesers cholocolate container, a pair of black gloves, a pair of socks and some clothing.

A few loose silver thumb-size capsules wrapped in plastic adhesive tape and aluminium foil were found in his sports bag and underneath the chocolates in the container.

Although Iwuchukwu claimed he was here to have football trails, he could not name any of the local clubs. He did not play in the S-League or the Prime League.

Asked by Corporal Jeffrey Lee if the capsules were chocolate, he replied yes. When another officer took a capsule and ask him what it was, Iwuchukwu said this time it was a herb that tasted like chocolate, popped it into his mouth and swallowed it.

This was subsequently passed out from his body and found to contain 7.08g of heroin.

Capsules were also found hidden in his socks and gloves and among his belongings.

Malachy, who is stateless, was arrested at a Coffee Bean outlet later that evening after a mobile phone images of him taken by a Central Narcotics Bureau officer were shown to Iwuchukwu, who identified him as "Marshall".

Malachy denied being part of the conspiracy to import drugs and said he came here to look for a second-hand car for use in South Africa.

He also claimed to be in the garment business, but did not have any business cards on him at the time of his arrest.

His cellphone records and SIM cards showed a flurry of communication between him and "Smith", shortly after his plane from Medan landed at Changi Airport.

Smith's mobile phone number was also stored in Malachy's SIM card under the abbreviated name "Dogo", another of Smith's aliases, according to Iwuchukwu.

The actual identity and whereabouts of "Mr. Smith" remains unknown.

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Sinapan Samydorai
President
Think Centre
Tel:?? 65 - 9479 1906
Email: thinkcentre@hotmail.com
Email: samysd@pacific.net.sg
http://www.thinkcentre.org
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Thank you.


Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type :
Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID :
FA-22-2005
Issues :
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