Alert: Read our new report on the effects of Covid-19 on torture in Mexico
Urgent Interventions

Singapore: Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu risking death penalty

Case SGP 220405
Death penalty

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Singapore.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples (Hotline Asia), a member of the OMCT network, of the case of Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu, 38 years old, who is due to be hanged on or before the first week of May 2005.

According to the information received, Mr. Shanmugam was arrested on 29 August 2003 at Tuas Checkpoint, for trafficking about one kilogramme of cannabis into Singapore. He was prosecuted under section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 185, and sentenced to death after trial at the High Court in April 2004. Mr. Shanmugam’s appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal, but dismissed on 26 October 2006.

In Singapore, the death sentence is mandatory for drug offences, and the presidential clemency is the final mechanism for appeal. Information about the precise date of hanging is not made public.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu, and stresses that it is strongly opposed to the death penalty, particularly when administered automatically for such offences. OMCT emphasises that it considers the capital punishment an extreme form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. OMCT therefore urges the authorities in Singapore to immediately commute the death sentence of Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu.

Action requested :
Please write to the authorities in Singapore urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu’s physical and psychological integrity;

ii. immediately commute Mr. Shanmugam Murugesu’s death sentence;

iii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

  • His Excellency S R Nathan, President, Office of the President, Istana, Orchard Road, Republic of Singapore 0922 , Fax: + 65 738 4673

  • The Honourable Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister, Office of the Senior Minister, Istana Annexe, Singapore 238823, e-mail:

  • The Honourable Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Istana Annexe, Singapore 238823, e-mail:

  • The Honourable Wong Kan Seng, Minister of Home Affairs, New Phoenix Park 28, Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329560, e-mail:, Fax: +65 6734 4420

  • Minister of Law, Prof. S. Jayakumar, Ministry of Law, 100 High Street, The Treasury #08-02, Singapore 179434, Fax: + 65 6332 8842

  • Attorney General Chan Sek Keong, Attorney General's Chambers, 1 Coleman Street #10-00, Singapore 179803, Fax: + 65 6332 5984

  • Chief Justice Yong Pung How, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, St Andrew's Road, Singapore 178957

  • Ambassadeur Vanu Gopala Menon, ICC - Bloc G- Pré-Bois 20 - CP 1910, CH-1215, Genève 15, Suisse, e-mail :, fax: +4122 929 66 58

Please also write to the embassies of Singapore in your respective country.

Geneva, 22 April 2005

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
Sign up now

Subscribe to our latest news & alerts