Press Statement

Singapore’s claim that Pannir Selvam did not write letters from prison is false & baseless, handwritten copies exist

24 August 2019


We refer to the statement issued by Singapore Prison Services late yesterday claiming that letters from prison published in the media was not written by Malaysian death row prisoner Pannir Selvam Pranthaman.

This statement is blatantly false. The series of letters, which were widely published by Malaysian media, were all written by Pannir himself.

In proof of this, Pannir’s family is in possession of the handwritten copies of the letters which were written by Pannir in prison.

Further, the copies of Pannir’s handwritten letters were also put up in the official website to save Pannir,

In short, anyone can see by looking at the copies on the website that Pannir did write the letters. It was highly irresponsible of Singapore to make such a serious accusation, without even checking the material on the website or properly probing the matter.

This has only increased the anguish and suffering of the family, who are desperately trying to save Pannir’s life by engaging public support for their cause.

It is quite clear from Singapore’s wild claim of an ‘orchestrated campaign against the Singapore government’ that they want to intimidate and shut down the public campaign for Pannir in Malaysia and worldwide.

Singapore’s conduct shows that it wants to hang this Malaysian citizen quietly in the near future, and does not want public attention drawn to his case.

Singapore Prison Services has also claimed that Pannir has told them that he did not write the letters. Why would he do that when in fact he did write them and copies of his handwritten versions exist? Obviously, he would only have done so if he had been subjected to threats or other unlawful means of compulsion by the Singapore authorities.

We are now deeply concerned for Pannir’s safety and well-being. Has he been threatened, intimidated, assaulted or otherwise compelled by Singapore authorities to deny that he wrote those letters? Is Pannir now safe in Singapore Prison custody?

We are utterly appalled by the conduct of the Singapore authorities towards Pannir. It is cruel and unacceptable to use the might of the state of Singapore to oppress and silence a helpless death row prisoner. In these circumstances, can Pannir expect fair treatment from Singapore in his ongoing legal battles against his death sentence?

We now urge the Singapore government to:
1) Reveal what they did to force Pannir to deny that he wrote those letters.
2) Guarantee Pannir’s safety in Singapore prison custody.
3) Publicly assure the family and the Malaysian government that Singapore will stop its efforts to silence Pannir and the ‘Save Pannir’ campaign.

We further urge the Malaysian government to intervene in this matter which involves the safety of a Malaysian citizen abroad, and seek necessary explanations and assurances from Singapore.


Issued by,
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty
& Malaysian solicitor for Pannir Selvam