Press Statement

Singapore’s sudden plan to execute M’sian Datchinamurthy Kataiah on 29th April 2022 despite ongoing court case is in contempt of court & unlawful

22 April 2022

Malaysian citizen Datchinamurthy Katiah is now scheduled to be executed on Friday 29th April 2022 in Singapore. This shocking news was conveyed today to Datchinamurty’s family by a letter dated 21st April 2022 from the Singapore Prison Service. The letter was addressed to Datchinamurthy’s mother in Johor.

Datchinamurthy Kataiah has been on death row in Singapore’s notorious Changi prison since he was convicted in 2015 by the High Court for allegedly trafficking in 44.96 grams of diamorphine. In a clear act of discrimination, his Singaporean co-accused was spared the death sentence by a special certificate of the Attorney General of Singapore.

We are appalled and disturbed that Singapore plans to hang Datchinamurthy although he has a legal challenge still pending in the Singapore high court. This case (Originating Summons No 188 of 2022) is in the court hearing list for 20th May 2022.

The execution notice, issued despite ongoing legal proceedings, is therefore a fundamental breach of Datchinamurthy’s right to life and right to fair trial contained in Article 9(1) of the Constitution. No civilised country in the world hangs a person in the middle of the court process.

By issuing this execution notice, the Singapore Prison Service and the Singapore Home Minister are in clear and serious contempt of court. The Attorney-General of Singapore, having knowledge and being complicit in the planned execution, is equally in contempt of court.

Coming in the wake of mentally disabled Malaysian Nagaenthiran Dharmalingam’s scheduled execution just 2 days earlier on the 27th of April, it is clear that Singapore is now engaged in a reckless and bloody execution spree, in disregard of the rule of law and civilised norms.

We urge the Singapore Government to immediately revoke the execution notice dated 21st April 2022 against Datchinamurthy Kataiah, and allow the court processes to proceed unimpeded. To block a person on death row from access to courts by executing him prior to the hearing, is in breach of international law as well as the Singapore constitution. It will reduce Singapore to a pariah state.

Issued by:
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty