Amnesty International pleads lifetime jail instead of gallows for Taiping convict

Amnesty International Malaysia has condemned the impending ‘last minute’ execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for March 25, 2016. — File pic
Amnesty International Malaysia has condemned the impending ‘last minute’ execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for March 25, 2016. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Amnesty International Malaysia condemned today the “last minute” execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for this Friday, calling it a violation of human rights.

The human rights watchdog claimed that the prisoner’s family was notified only this week that he is to be hanged on Friday and was unaware of it a week ago, which was a violation of human rights.

“The mother, Nagarani Sandasamy, had visited Gunasegar last week, and both were unaware that the 34-year-old was scheduled to hang just a week later,” the body’s executive director Shamini Darshini said in a statement today.

The group also alleged that the “secretive” execution was not in line with international standards on the use of the death penalty and pleaded with Putrajaya to commute the execution.

“We call upon the Malaysian government to immediately halt all plans to execute Gunasegar, and to commute existing death sentences to life imprisonment.

“As discussions on abolishing the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia continue, the Malaysian government must immediately put in place a moratorium on all executions as a first step towards full abolition of the death penalty,” Shamini added.

The group also reiterated its stand that it was against the mandatory death penalty as it “violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”

Gunasegar was sentenced in 2011 alongside two others including his brother for murdering a 25-year old man in 2005.

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