‘Disgraceful’, Amnesty International says of Kho Jabing’s hanging

International newswire AFP reported Singapore police as confirming that 32-year-old Kho was hanged today. — AFP pic
International newswire AFP reported Singapore police as confirming that 32-year-old Kho was hanged today. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Amnesty International condemned today the execution of Sarawakian Kho Jabing in Singapore that was carried out hours after his appeal against the sentence was rejected.

“It is disgraceful that Kho Jabing was executed, particularly with such indecent haste, after his final appeal was denied this morning,” said Josef Benedict, deputy director of Amnesty International’s South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, in a statement.

“Clemency should have been granted, more so given the uncertainty and divided opinion surrounding Kho Jabing’s fate over the past six years. Singapore is at a crossroads.

“It must decide whether it wants to join most of the world by protecting human rights and ridding itself of the death penalty, or remain among the minority of countries that insist on the implementation of this cruel and inhumane punishment,” he added.

International newswire AFP reported Singapore police as confirming that 32-year-old Kho was hanged today, six years after he was sentenced to death in 2010 for murdering a construction worker.

Kho’s case had sparked a renewed debate on the death penalty as he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 after Singapore amended its mandatory death sentence for murder, but the prosecution appealed and the Malaysian’s death sentence was reinstated in 2015.

Kirsten Han from Singapore anti-death penalty group We Believe in Second Chances said death row inmates should be seen as people who have made mistakes, bad decisions, and who might have been cruel but have families and struggles.

“The government says it kills people like Jabing to keep us safe.

“I don’t know how Jabing’s death has kept me safe; it’s simply made me feel more hurt, more outraged and more fearful of a cold state machinery that knows no compassion, that would rush a man to his death out of procedural efficiency,” Han wrote on Facebook.

The Star reported Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri as saying in a written parliamentary reply Tuesday that Putrajaya has yet to decide on whether to amend the mandatory death penalty. Capital punishment in Malaysia is imposed on offences like murder and drug trafficking.

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