Friday 5th August 2005: Hung At Dawn @ Substation, Singapore
LATEST UPDATE: Carburetor Dung is playing, BUT not on the 5th. It’ll be on the 18th August. Please see the comments for a statement from us.
HUNG AT DAWN
Local Bands Remember Sam
Shanmugam s/o Murugesu was executed at 6am, Friday, May the 13th 2005.
FRIDAY 5th & THURSDAY 18th August 2005
THE SUBSTATION GUINNESS THEATRE
6pm to 11pm
FRIDAY 5TH AUGUST LINE UP
Harakiri | One Man Nation | The Leaven Trait |
Carburetor Dung | Blankshot | Slowjaxx | Ila Mitra | Molotove
THURSDAY 18TH AUGUST LINE UP INCLUDES
Cyril Wong & Ang Song Ming | sixTnine | George Chua | Chong Li Chuan | Yuen Chee Wai | One Man Nation | Zai Kuning | Carburetor Dung
HUNG AT DAWN is organised by an independent group of sound artists and individuals called Songs for Sam. It marks the start of an ongoing series of regional concerts Against the Death Penalty in Southeast Asia. A CD with music Against the Death Penalty is being compiled with input from regional bands.
from: Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Singapore drug trafficker executed despite appeals
Published: Saturday, 14 May, 2005
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean drug trafficker was hanged yesterday after a rare public appeal by his teenaged sons failed to postpone the execution.
Shanmugam Murugesu, 38, was hanged at 6am in Changi prison despite weeks of campaigning by local and international civil rights groups and his family. Shanmugam, an ethnic Tamil whose only previous conviction was a traffic offence, was arrested at the Malaysian border in August 2003 with 1.03kg of cannabis. Capital punishment in the city-state has long been shrouded in silence, but the case sparked rare debate on the death penalty after Shanmugam‚Äôs twin 14-year-old sons, Gopalan and Krishnan, gathered nearly 1,000 signatures in a petition seeking clemency from Singapore President S R Nathan.
‚ÄúThis is definitely the first time the local community has come forward to look at the death penalty issue,‚Äù said Sinapan Samydorai, president of Think Centre, a civil rights group.
‚ÄúWe know it will take time for the death penalty to be abolished in Singapore but at least now we have people saying that things should change,‚Äù he said.
There are no official figures on how many people are currently on death row. Since 1991, about 400 people have been hanged in Singapore, mostly for drug trafficking, giving the Southeast Asian island of 4.2mn people possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population, said London-based rights group Amnesty International in its 2004 report. The Singapore government has slammed the report and denied Amnesty‚Äôs charge that most of those hanged were foreigners from poorer countries. It rebutted the report with data showing 64% of those executed from 1993 to 2003 were Singaporeans. Only six people sentenced to death in Singapore have been spared execution since independence, a prison official told Reuters yesterday, confirming Amnesty International figures. They included two women convicted of drug trafficking and four men convicted of murder.
The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state has had capital punishment since its days as a British colony. Those found guilty of murder, kidnapping, treason, firearm offences and drug trafficking could face the gallows. Laws enacted in 1975 proscribe death by hanging for anyone aged 18 or over who is convicted of carrying more than 15g of heroin, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis or 250g of methamphetamines. While Shanmugam‚Äôs campaign was widely covered in the media, observers say that it is unlikely to have a major impact on policy. Political commentator and former newspaper editor Seah Chiang Nee said there was little public support for abolishing the death penalty for murderers and drug traffickers.
‚ÄúThe public is not sympathetic to these people because capital punishment is seen to have kept crime rates low,‚Äù he said.
Singapore has repeatedly defended its use of the death penalty, saying it is imposed only for the most serious crimes and maintaining that capital punishment has deterred major drug syndicates from establishing themselves in the city-state. ‚Äì Reuters
Man to be executed in Singapore this Friday (13th) for importing 1 kg of cannabis
The tiny state of Singapore has the highest per capita execution rate in the world and along with many of its SE Asian neighbours has a zero tolerance policy on drugs that includes the death penalty for trafficking and other drug offences. Shanmugam Murugesu, a father of two 14 year old twins and military veteran who has confessed, repented and only ever had a traffic violation, is due to be executed this Friday for the importation of approximately 1kg of cannabis. The absurdity of the sentence has provoked a rare public outcry in the authoritarian state – with public vigils being held for the first time in many years.
For the full story see:
Shanmugam s/o Murugesu (m), aged 38, former taxi-driver and window cleaner is facing imminent execution, following the rejection of his appeal for clemency to the President of Singapore. He was arrested when immigration officers found 1029.8 grams of cannabis in his motorcycle carrier box as he entered Singapore from Malaysia. It is thought likely he will be hanged at dawn on 13 May.
In April 2004,Shanmugam s/o Murugesu was sentenced to death under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which carries a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of trafficking in more than 500 grams of cannabis. In January 2005 the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against the death sentence. He has no previous criminal record, has reportedly expressed deep regret for his actions and has asked for the opportunity to be rehabilitated.
Following his divorce in 2002 he was granted custody of his twin 14-year-old sons. The twins have lost contact with their mother and are currently being cared for by their grandmother who is in frail health. In their clemency appeal to the President of Singapore, the twins wrote: ‚ÄúNow that he is going to be executed we will become orphans. We cannot imagine our lives without him and if he is not with us, we don‚Äôt have the strength to take it… We beg you to spare his life‚Äù.
There is very little public debate about the death penalty in Singapore due to controls imposed by the government on the press and civil society organizations. However, on 16 April 2005, local activists organized a rare public forum to highlight Shanmugam‚Äôs case.
Participants at the forum described the cruel and inhuman nature of the death penalty and its impact on the families of those on death row. They also described the risk of miscarriages of justice and expressed serious concerns about the Singapore government‚Äôs justification of the death penalty as an effective deterrent against drug trafficking and other crimes. An Amnesty International representative who attended the forum was refused permission by the authorities to address the meeting. Local activists plan to hold a vigil for Shanmugam on 6 May.
Singapore, with a population of just over four million, has the highest per capita execution rate in the world. At least 420 people have been executed since 1991, the majority for drug trafficking. The Singapore government has consistently maintained that the death penalty is not a human rights issue.
The Misuse of Drugs Act provides for a mandatory death sentence for at least 20 different offences and contains a series of presumptions which shift the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused. Such presumptions erode the right to a fair trial, increasing the risk that an innocent person may be executed, and conflicting with the universally guaranteed right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Prisoners facing execution may be
granted clemency by the President, on the advice of the Cabinet, but it is extremely rare for clemency to be given.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty worldwide in all cases as a violation of one of the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life.It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and is imposed disproportionately on the poorest, least educated and most vulnerable members of society. It takes the lives of offenders who might otherwise have been rehabilitated. There is no escaping the risk of error which can lead to the execution of an innocent person. In April 2005 the UN Commission on Human Rights renewed calls upon all states which still maintain the death penalty to abolish it completely and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on executions.
Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Easton Business Centre, Felix Rd., Bristol, BS5 0HE,
Telephone: +44 (0) 117 941 5810