Amnesty International: Halt execution of brothers pending clemency application


Source: The Malay Mail Online

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AFP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Amnesty International Malaysia has urged the government to halt tomorrow’s execution of two brothers found guilty of a murder committed back in 2006 as their lawyer have submitted a clemency application to Negri Sembilan Pardons Board.

In a statement tonight, Amnesty International Malaysia Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said that the Pardons Board must be given time to review Rames and Suthar Batumalai’s application, and executions can’t be carried out while the appeals are still pending.

“Late last night, we learned that Rames and Suthar were scheduled to be executed in Kajang Prison on Friday morning, which mean they have less than 12 hours to live now. The family is distraught and are appealing to the Yang Di Pertuan Negri Sembilan to spare their lives,” she said.

Shamini said that the family of Rames, 44, and Suthar, 39, were only informed about the execution yesterday.

The duo were mandatorily sentenced to death in April 2010 under Section 302 of the Penal Code after they were found guilty of a murder committed on February 4 2006. They were moved yesterday from their separate detention facilities to Kajang prison where the executions are set to take place.

“Amnesty International believes that the brothers, who were represented at trial by the same lawyer, were convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence alone,” the statement read.

“During the trial they claimed that they had intervened to stop two other men from attacking and killing the deceased, claims which were disregarded by the High Court. The Court also failed to call a key witness, the deceased’s wife, to testify. Her testimony could have corroborated the brothers’ version of the facts and the involvement of the two other men in the murder.”

Shamini said that Amnesty International is seeking the help of its global network to intervene with the executions and is also appealing to the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan to stop the execution.

“The lack of transparency around executions in Malaysia is a violation of international law and standards. Families must have sufficient time to prepare for the last visit and take any further recourse available at the national or international level.” she said.