Hoo Yew Wah, a Malaysian national of Chinese ethnicity, remained on death row at Bentong prison, Pahang State, central Malaysia. In March 2005, at the age of 20, he was found in possession of 188.35 grams of methamphetamine, automatically presumed to be trafficking drugs and later convicted of trafficking under section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1952. He was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty on 12 May 2011. The courts rejected his appeals in September 2012 and July 2013. His April 2014 petition for a pardon to the Sultan of Johor State, where the offence took place, remained pending. He turned 32 years old in 2017 and said he repented his offence.
Hoo Yew Wah was convicted on the basis of a statement he made at the time of arrest in Mandarin language, his mother tongue, without a lawyer present, and the content of which he contested at trial and on appeal. He also said that on the day after his arrest, and during his detention at the District Police Headquarter in Johore, the police broke his finger and threatened to beat his girlfriend to make him sign this statement. While these concerns were raised before the courts, the judges dismissed them and upheld his conviction and sentence. International law absolutely prohibits the use of torture and other ill-treatment, as well as the use of coerced, self-incriminating statements as evidence to convict. Additionally, the UN Safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty clearly state that “Capital punishment may be imposed only when the guilt of the person charged is based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts.”
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The organisation campaigns for total abolition of capital punishment.
You can help Hoo Yew Wah by signing the petition below:
Hoo Yew Wah, currently on death row at Bentong prison, was convicted on the basis of a statement he made at the time of arrest in Mandarin, without a lawyer present, the content of which he contested at trial and on appeal. During his detention, the police broke his finger and threatened to beat his girlfriend to make him sign this statement. Hoo Yew Wah left school at the age of 11 and later moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he worked in a street restaurant as cook. He is now 32 years old and has repented for his offence.
I encourage you to intervene with the Pardon Board of the Johor state and support the pardon application of Hoo Yew Wah.