I'd like to share the story of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, a young Nigerian footballer.
In 2007, at the age of 21, Tochi was hanged in #Singapore.
Tochi was arrested in Changi Airport in #Singapore on 27 November 2004. He was 18 years old.
He was later charged with importing not less than 727.02g of heroin. His case largely revolved around whether he could rebut the presumption clauses within the Misuse of Drugs Act.
What are these presumption clauses? First: if you have more than 2g of heroin, Section 17 of #Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act (here: sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/MDA1973#pr…) presumes that you are trafficking the drugs.
This is the @STcom story I got the screenshot from: straitstimes.com/singapore/cour… I believe the original headline was "Lawyer M Ravi seeks to delay drug trafficker's execution", but the story has since been amended to highlight the government's view/response.
According to Syed, the prison is executing Singaporeans first during #COVID19 since the families of foreigners can't visit. This, @MRavilaw argued, breaches Article 12 of #Singapore's Constitution that says all are equal before the law 'cos it treats lives differently.
Some thoughts after observing the hearing for Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin today. Screenshots from my Facebook page since it's long and not particularly conducive to a thread. #deathpenalty#Singapore
And one on what we know about how death row inmates' clemency petitions are considered in #Singapore.
tl;dr We don't know anything
Ultimately, I was very glad that the Court of Appeal decided to give both sides time to file further submissions, and that the next hearing will not take place before 7 October, thus giving Syed more time with his family. But these are the points I'm not pondering.
Will be in court this afternoon for Syed’s hearing. 30k+ have signed a petition calling for clemency, he received a stay of execution, and the prison sent his privileged communication w/ his lawyer to the prosecution.
There has been no coverage by the local mainstream media.
There needs to be an independent investigation into and accounting for this clear breach of inmates’ privacy, and in Syed’s case, solicitor-client privilege.
From an August 2020 Court of Appeal judgment, we learn that this wasn’t an isolated case. Another death row inmate, Datchinamurthy, complained that the prison had, w/o consent, forwarded to the AGC documents given to him by his family.
Just to state for clarity, I never said that people shouldn’t ever report crimes; I’m pointing out that it isn’t great for social cohesion if we constantly promote a culture/narrative in which we are encouraged to monitor and police one another.
Here's a summary of the whirlwind past few days:
- Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin was scheduled to hang on 18 Sept (today), but was granted a stay of execution. His next court hearing is 22nd September, but @MRavilaw has another application to make after that.
- While it's a relief that Syed got a stay, we don't know how much time that will actually translate to, so it's important that people still keep talking about his case, writing to their MPs, and signing this petition: change.org/p/singapore-an…
One of the most sickening things about the #deathpenalty is how cold and administrative is. I wrote about this in 2017, but have never felt like I've been able to convey the full horror of it: ricemedia.co/culture-life-a… Something that happened last night provides another example...
Last night I received a call from @MRavilaw, the human rights lawyer representing Syed Suhail pro bono. Earlier in the day, Ravi had succeeded in getting an interim stay of execution from the High Court. The news went around social media, to lots of people's relief.
But as I was riding the bus home at the end of the day, @MRavilaw called to say that the prison had *not* confirmed that the execution was on hold, and that Syed appeared to still be under the impression that he was to say his goodbyes and the family to prepare his funeral.
Under Article 22P of the Constitution of #Singapore, the President is able to, on the advice of the Cabinet (this bit is important), grant clemency to death row inmates. This is usually understood to mean that the President will commute the death sentence to life imprisonment.
There's a catch: the words "on the advice of the Cabinet". In 2011, the Court of Appeal ruled that this means the President must act according to what the Cabinet says. Essentially, while it is known as a presidential pardon, it is actually the Cabinet of #Singapore that decides.
#Singapore continues to defend hangings, usually carried out for drug trafficking and murder. Syed Suhail has been scheduled to hang on Friday. In a letter, he said that he will not be able to see his Malaysian relatives due to #COVID19 border closures. vice.com/en_us/article/…
Earlier today, human rights lawyer M Ravi published a letter that Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin had written to him about his imminent execution. #deathpenalty#Singapore
Even as the world moves away from the #deathpenalty, #Singapore continues to insist on not just capital punishment but also the #WaronDrugs. From my observation, the majority of death row inmates have been sentenced to hang for drug offences.
Shanmugam would of course find Chua's op-ed easy to support; while she asks some questions, her conclusion is that Parti Liyani's case is proof that the #Singapore justice system is working as it should, suggesting that the errors are specific/isolated and can be patched up.
She had a pro bono lawyer, a bailor, and support from an NGO (who often has to contend w/ govt displeasure). She was determined to prove her innocence, and her family were able to survive w/o her remittance for four years. This is a confluence of remarkable factors.
I've seen people say that they really like how everything's moved online during the pandemic, but unfortunately I'm not one of those people. I'm actually finding it a real struggle to keep track of all the online calls and conferences and panels, even if I set alerts for them 😵
Before the pandemic, when things were much more a mix of online/offline, I didn't forget or miss online calls. But since it's all moved to work-from-home I keep having moments where I suddenly realise that I was supposed to be in some Zoom thing, like, 3 hours ago
This also means that I keep signing up for sessions at online conferences that I end up not attending 😓😓😓
I'd like to acknowledge that Singaporeans in #Singapore aren't very much affected by #TheSingaporeGrip since it's not being aired here. Those most immediately affected by the failures of representation are East Asians and Southeast Asians in the UK, as highlighted by @BeatsOrg.
In defending #TheSingaporeGrip, Christopher Hampton pointed out that it's based on the satirical novel by JG Farrell, which he describes as "perhaps the most celebrated attack on colonialism by a British novelist in the 20th Century". bbc.com/news/entertain…
I guess regular testing is the best (only?) thing they can do at this immediate point in time, given that the problem of density of the dorms is a long-term issue we totally screwed everyone with, and now we can’t fix it right away 😑
For ease of reference, I'm putting together a master thread on the acquittal of Parti Liyani and all the interest and questions it has generated in #Singapore about #justice, #migrantworkers, and due process.
This case has dragged on for years. Parti was sacked and repatriated on 28 October 2016. Two days later, her employer Liew Mun Leong filed a police report against her for theft. She was arrested when she returned to #Singapore on 2 December 2016, and only acquitted last week.
S$7.50 for 1,000 words is exploitative and insulting. If the business isn’t profitable yet, that’s the founder/CEO’s problem. Even if you have no prior experience, this rate is ridiculous. Don’t be negged into working for this little — take it from someone who’s been there.
I accept that journalism is different from commercial/corporate content writing, but as someone who has been an editor I wouldn’t have seen a platform that pays $7.50 for 1,000 words as one that adds much to the resume, and I suspect it is the same for corporate writing.