Amnesty: Crackdown on activists a ‘misuse of criminal justice system’

Source: FMT News

NGO says authorities are increasingly responding to activities aimed at expressing dissent and protesting against injustice with ‘baseless police investigations’. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International has hit out at a recent crackdown on activists in Malaysia, calling it a misuse of the criminal justice system.

Pointing out that more than seven political activists and human rights defenders have been summoned by the police in the past week alone, the NGO said the trend further restricted public debate while reducing the space in which civil society operates.

In a statement today, it expressed alarm that the authorities were increasingly responding to activities aiming to express dissent and protest against injustice with “baseless police investigations”.

“The Malaysian authorities must immediately halt the misuse of the criminal justice system to harass and intimidate political activists and human rights defenders for their peaceful activities,” it said. Read more

Walk the talk on human rights, Amnesty tells govt

Source: FMT News

Human rights organisation launches Brave campaign to push government to put its human rights declaration in the UN into practice. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Amnesty International (AI) has launched a campaign to support “oppressed” activists to push for more effective implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The campaign, known as Brave, is meant to empower, protect and support global human rights defenders in the face of rampant arrests.

AI-Malaysia’s executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said Brave would push for the government to put the human rights declaration into practice.

“It’s time the government fulfils what they had promised earlier when they declared they acknowledged the role of human rights activists and the need to protect them,” she said at a press conference after the launch of the campaign.

The declaration provides specific protection for human rights defenders in the context of their work, including the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. Read more

Amnesty’s concerns over ‘diyat’ for death row convicts

Source: FMT News

Human rights body says ‘diyat’ inconsistent with international human rights laws and is discriminatory as it puts the poor at a disadvantage. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International Malaysia says it has several concerns over the Pahang Pardons Board’s plans to adopt the Islamic law of “diyat” as an alternative to granting pardons to convicts awaiting the death sentence.

AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said these concerns included the “diyat” not being consistent with international human rights laws, giving a private individual the power to decide on a person’s life and the “discriminatory nature” of the “diyat”, which puts the poor at a disadvantage.

“Any alternative to hanging a human being is a welcome move. However, we need to consider the roles of the pardons board and the state in deciding whether to preserve or end human life.

“Amnesty International Malaysia believes that power to end life should never lie in the hands of the state as much as it should not lie in the hands of private individuals,” she said, adding it was the discretion of state pardons boards to offer clemency. Read more

Amnesty: Malaysia 10th biggest executioner in the world

Source: FMT News

Amnesty International's Death Sentence and Executions Report shows nine people executed and 36 sentenced to death in the country last year. Pic from FMT News.

Amnesty International’s Death Sentence and Executions Report shows nine people executed and 36 sentenced to death in the country last year. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia was listed as the 10th biggest executioner last year out of all the countries which carried out capital punishment, Amnesty International Malaysia (AI-Malaysia) says.

AI-Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said the statistics on the number of executions was not provided by the government in 2015.

“The home ministry had confirmed nine executions in 2016. The number of executions carried out last year appears to represent a considerable increase compared with previous years,” she said during an Amnesty International media briefing on Death Sentences and Executions Report 2016, here, today.

In the report released globally today, it was noted that aside from the nine people executed, at least 36 people were sentenced to death in Malaysia.

Shamini said the home ministry had finally revealed in a Parliamentary reply in October last year that Malaysia had executed six people in 2014, one in 2015 and nine in 2016. Read more

Be bold and abolish death penalty, government told

Source: FMT News 

Human rights advocates urge that capital punishment be removed not just for drug trafficking offences, but for all crimes currently punishable by death. Pic from FMT News.

Human rights advocates urge that capital punishment be removed not just for drug trafficking offences, but for all crimes currently punishable by death. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Human rights groups have urged the government to be bold and abolish the mandatory death penalty in its entirety.

In applauding the Cabinet decision to amend Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 to include a clause providing discretionary powers to the courts in sentencing drug traffickers, they said capital punishment was not right.

Amnesty International, Lawyers for Liberty and Suara Rakyat Malaysia all agreed that there was no evidence to show the death penalty reduced crime.

They called on the government to make the anticipated removal of the mandatory death penalty for drug offences the first step towards complete abolition of that particular form of punishment.

“Malaysia is one of some 30 countries that still use the death penalty, including mandatory death penalty, which remains one of the most abhorrent methods of punishing crime,” said Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshini. Read more

Suhakam calls for moratorium on death penalty

Source: The Sun Daily

SUHAKAMPETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has called on the government to review the relevance of capital punishment, recommending for a moratorium on the death penalty.

Referring to the execution of brothers Rames and Suthar Batumalai on Wednesday, its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail opined that the mandatory death penalty must be abolished so that judges will be given discretionary powers for a convicted person.

“Suhakam reiterates that the mandatory imposition of the death penalty violates the basic right to life, as enshrined in international human rights law as it constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life, as well as denies judges the possibility of taking into account the facts of the offence or the characteristics of each individual offender for the purposes of sentencing,” he said in a statement today. Read more

Malaysia broke international law by executing brothers before clemency hearing – activists

Source: Asian Correspondent

Brothers Rames & Suthar Batumalai were executed at dawn on Wednesday 15 March 2017.

Brothers Rames & Suthar Batumalai were executed at dawn on Wednesday 15 March 2017.

MALAYSIAN authorities acted in violation of international law when they executed two brothers on death row, even before the disposal of their appeal for clemency, local human rights defenders alleged.

According to Amnesty International Malaysia director Shamini Darshni, international law clearly states that, “executions may not be carried out pending any appeal or other proceeding relating to pardon or commutation of the sentence.”

She noted that the brothers – Rames Batumalai, 45, and Suthar Batumalai, 40, two Malaysian nationals convicted of murder in 2006 – were hanged to death at dawn on Wednesday, two days before their pre-determined date of execution and while their clemency application was yet to be heard.

Haresh Mahadevan, the lawyer representing the brothers, had filed a new application for clemency on Feb 23, which halted their scheduled Feb 24 execution at the last hour. Pending a review of the application, the executions were set for Friday, March 17.

Earlier this week, however, authorities told family members of the two death row inmates that they would be hanged at dawn on Wednesday. Read more

Stop Batumalai brothers’ execution pending appeal, say Amnesty

Source: FMT News

Rames and Suthar Batumalai’s family members asked to visit them in prison in view of new execution date set for this Friday.

Amnesty International Malaysia calls for stay of execution of death penalties pending appeal. Pic taken from FMT News.

Amnesty International Malaysia calls for stay of execution of death penalties pending appeal. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The reprieve that two brothers on death row had received when their execution was not carried out on Feb 23 as scheduled has proved to be temporary.

Rames and Suthar Batumalai will face the hangman’s noose this Friday, according to Amnesty International Malaysia.

“The family of Rames and Suthar Batumalai were today handed a letter notifying them of the imminent execution and asking them to visit the two at Kajang Prison for the last time tomorrow.

“This is a surprising move considering there is a clemency application pending a decision by the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board. Rames and Suthar must not be executed while there is an appeal pending,” Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, Amnesty International Malaysia’s executive director said in a statement.

Rames ad Suthar were sentenced to death in April 2010 under Section 302 of the Penal Code after they were found guilty of murdering Krishnan Raman on Feb 4, 2006. The brothers have maintained their innocence. Read more

13 tahun yang menyeksakan, lelaki terlepas hukuman gantung

Sumber: FMT News

Shahrul Izani yang dijatuhkan hukuman gantung oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam pada 2009 atas kesalahan mengedar 622g kanabis mendapat pengampunan diraja. Sementara itu, Pengarah Eksekutif Amnesty Malaysia Shamini Darshni berkata pihaknya bersama badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) lain termasuk Majlis Peguam menggesa satu moratorium dilaksanakan segera. Katanya, “Beberapa kali sejak 2010 dibincangkan kebarangkalian memansuhkan hukuman gantung, tetapi sehingga kini tidak ada. Dua peguam negara dan 3 menteri undang-undang sudah berubah.”

Pengarah Eksekutif Amnesty Malaysia Shamini Darshni bersama ibu Shahrul, Sapenah Nawawi mengucapkan terimakasih atas pengampunan diraja oleh Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah terhadap hukuman gantung yang dijatuhkan ke atas Shahrul Izani Suparman oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam pada 2009 atas kesalahan mengedar 622g kanabis

Pengarah Eksekutif Amnesty Malaysia Shamini Darshni bersama ibu Shahrul Izani Suparman, Sapenah Nawawi mengucapkan terimakasih atas pengampunan diraja oleh Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah terhadap hukuman gantung yang dijatuhkan ke atas Shahrul oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam pada 2009 atas kesalahan mengedar 622g kanabis. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Hanya tangisan syukur dan ucapan terima kasih mampu dikatakan seorang ibu apabila dimaklumkan anak lelakinya terlepas hukuman gantung selepas mendapat pengampunan diraja.

Sapenah Nawawi, 58, berkata, beliau dimaklumkan oleh pegawai penjara agar hadir ke penjara Sungai Buloh pada Isnin lalu.

Menurutnya, tidak dapat dibayangkan perasaan takut ketika itu kerana khuatir akan diberitahu tarikh hukuman gantung tetapi sebaliknya apabila diberitahu anaknya mendapat pengampunan diraja oleh Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Shahrul Izani Suparman, 33, dijatuhkan hukuman gantung oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam pada 2009 atas kesalahan mengedar 622g kanabis mendapat pengampunan diraja.

“Saya seronok, gembira dan rasa percaya tak percaya beliau dibebaskan daripada hukuman gantung.

“Sesungguhnya berkat doa seorang ibu, kawan dan semua, beliau terlepas hukuman gantung,” kata Sapenah pada sidang media di sini hari ini. Read more

Amnesty International: Halt execution of brothers pending clemency application

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File pic

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. Read more