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HANGED 13 MAY 2005
Shanmugam s/o Murugesu, (his friends called him Sam) National Jet Ski Champion. Beloved son. Father of twin boys. Accused of peddling marijuana.His impoverished, abandoned family will never recover.
TO HANG NOVEMBER 2005
Van Tuong Nguyen, no previous criminal record, born in a refugee camp in Thailand, moved to Australia mother and twin brother when six months old. Van told investigating officers he had agreed to carry a packet of heroin in order to pay off debts owed by his twin brother. He said he did not know how much he was being paid for the trip. It was his first trip outside Australia. He was such an amateur he ran through Changi airport.
DON’T LET THIS “SOFT SPOKEN SOUL” DIE
Before he was executed Shanmugam said to his lawyer of Nguyen Tuong Van: “All the inmates on death row agree on this: If one of us is to be saved we are glad that it will be this boy – he is such a polite soft spoken soul.”
How many more of such small-fry desperate beings be hanged in Singapore while fat-cat drug lords go free? If this inhumane practice is really a deterrent, how come after 40 years of executions we STILL have the HIGHEST PER CAPITA EXECUTION RATE IN THE WORLD with the greatest known proportion of these executions small-time drug mules like Sam and Van?
WHAT CAN I DO?
One: Please turn up!
Monday 7 November 2005, 7-11 pm
Solidarity event for Nguyen Tuong Van & others like him
(Beside Newton MRT)
This event is convened by an independent, non-partisan, non-affiliated group of Singaporeans with concerns about death penalty practice in Singapore & elsewhere. The world’s press is focused upon Singapore right now, let them carry the message that Singaporeans are at least a little concerned about what is going on.
Make your presence count. If you share concerns about the death penalty in Singapore, even if you are not sure, even if you disagree, even if you are not against the death penalty in general but are worried about cases like Van’s and Sam’s, then this is the time to make your presence count. Show your concern for Nguyen Van Tuong and others like him.
Letchumi Murugesu, Mother of Shanmugam
Alex Au, Social Commentator, Yawning Bread
Anthony Yeo, Clinical Director, Counseling & Care Centre
M Ravi, Human Rights Lawyer
Chee Soon Juan, Secretary General, Singapore Democratic Party
Two: Join the Reach Out Handprint Campaign
Over thirty thousand people have joined in the campaign in solidarity with Van in Australia, including leading public figures and politicians from all parties.
Amnesty International Australia features a PDF http://www.amnesty.org.au where two of his friends Kelly Ng and Bronwen Lew are asking people who care about Van’s life to trace a copy of their hand as a gesture of solidarity. Why the hand? Because placing your hand against a glass window, on the other side of which a condemned prisoner sits and places their own hand, is probably the most poignant memory for those of us who have gone through this experience of contact to death row inmates. It is at once a gesture of solidarity hope and frailty.
Kelly and Bronwen ask that you send the copy of the hand to them at the postal address given at the bottom of the flyer on the Amnesty Australia site. They will collect the hands and send them to President Nathan. As postage to Australia may take some time, please also fax a copy of the hand directly to Van at:
Condemned Prisoner C856 Nguyen Tuong Van
Telephone confirmation: 65469141
If you really don’t have access to a fax, please send your letter to
Condemned Prisoner C856 Nguyen Tuong Van
982, Upper Changi Road
Three: Sign our online petition at
Four: Join the debate at
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY IN SINGAPORE & EVERYWHERE!
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T REDUCE CRIME RATES
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T DETER CRIMINALS
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MAKE SOCIETIES SAFER OR MORE HUMANE
BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF DEVELOPED SOCIETIES HAVE ALREADY BANNED IT–AND ARE BETTER OFF, SAFER AND MORE PEACEFUL WITHOUT IT
BECAUSE IT IS OVER-RIDINGLY AND ARBITRARILY USED AGAINST THE POOREST, LEAST EDUCATED PEOPLES ON OUR PLANET
BECAUSE PUBLIC OUTRAGE AT CRIME CAN BE CHANNELED MORE POSITIVELY AND PRODUCTIVELY
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T BRING CLOSURE BUT OPENS NEW WOUNDS
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EVEN NECESSARILY SAVE MONEY
BECAUSE THERE IS NO FAIL-SAFE JUDICIARY IN THE WORLD
BECAUSE WE CONTINUE TO GET IT WRONG
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY IN SINGAPORE & EVERYWHERE.
For empirical evidence, sober arguments and statistics that back up each of the above claims about deterrence, crime rates, costs and judicial accountability, visit the following websites:
THINK CENTRE SINGAPORE www.thinkcentre.org