The Court of Appeal dismisses concerns around the mandatory death penalty

On Friday 14 May the Court of Appeal rejected Yong Vui Kong’s appeal against his sentence and declared the mandatory death penalty to be constitutional. This decision paves the way to Yong’s imminent execution and highlights ongoing concerns around fair trial in relation to the application of the mandatory death penalty in Singapore.

Yong Vui Kong, a 22-year-old Malaysian, was arrested in 2007 with 47 g of diamorphine (heroin) and sentenced to death for drug offences. Today’s judgement challenged the mandatory death penalty in Singapore. Singapore’s mandatory death penalty provides the judges no discretion to consider alternative punishments or to consider mitigating circumstances violating the fundamental right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, it fails to comply with minimum human rights protections for criminal prosecutions. It also strips judges of the discretion to consider alternative punishment.

A high profile campaign has been organized and led by Yong’s defence lawyer Madasamy Ravi, (ADPAN member). Singapore presents major challenges on the death penalty but it is the support from others, including ADPAN members, that helps those working for aboliton in Singapore and those sentenced to death. Please organize appeals and place the appeal on your website.

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