Lawyer Tells Singapore Not to Hang Mentally Disabled Person

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Singapore was today urged not to go ahead with the execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a Malaysian convicted of drug trafficking, as it was proven that he is mentally disabled.

Human rights lawyer N Surendran said the republic would descend into barbarism if it went ahead with the execution.

“Nagaenthran, beyond dispute, suffers from mental disability and this has been confirmed by an independent psychiatrist.

“The evidence had been submitted to court,” said Surendran, who is adviser to rights group Lawyers for Liberty.

“Executing someone with mental disability is against international legal norms, against the United Nations’ principle on the death penalty and it is against Singapore’s own laws.

“This is a matter of grave seriousness, we are shocked and disappointed.

TMI

“Singapore will be descending into barbarism if it continues with the execution. We hope that it will be able to see sense and set aside the death sentence.”

It was reported that Nagaenthran has an IQ of 69, which judges, including those in the Court of Appeal, accepted and affirmed.

Nagaenthran is among those with “extremely low range of functioning”, according to the internationally recognised WAIS-IV test, which measures cognitive abilities.

Prosecution’s psychiatrists also confirmed that Nagaethran suffered from mild attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that his executive functioning skills (including verbal fluency, set-shifting, abstract reasoning, strategy formative, and problem solving) were impaired.

Nagaenthran, 30, was arrested in Singapore in 2009 after 42.72g of heroin was found strapped to his thigh.

He was found guilty for drug trafficking and sentenced to death in November 2011.

He previously admitted to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers that he knew the bundle contained heroin.

He revealed that a friend known only as “King” had strapped it to his thigh so that no one would find it. – TMI