15 March 2017
Amnesty International condemns the double execution of Rames and Suthar Batumalai, Malaysian nationals convicted of murder, despite the new application for clemency filed by their lawyer on 23 February 2017. International law clearly states that executions may not be carried out pending any appeal or other proceeding relating to pardon or commutation of the sentence. The executions, which were initially scheduled for 24 February and halted at the last hour, were set again for Friday 17 March. Only yesterday, 14 March, the family was informed that the men would be hanged at today’s dawn.
“It is simply cruel that the family of the prisoners were told to prepare for executions this Friday, only to find out with less than 24 hours’ notice that they were given wrong information about the date of the execution. With the clemency appeal still pending, the brothers were denied of their opportunity to have their case reconsidered and have their clemency applications heard,” Shamini Darshni, Amnesty International Malaysia said.
“Their case was deeply troubling, with the death sentence imposed as the mandatory punishment for a conviction based on circumstantial evidence alone. They should have been granted the opportunity to have their applications heard and the executions should have been halted until the full and fair hearing of this application. Executions continue to be carried out in secretive and opaque conditions.
Malaysia must stop backpedalling on human rights and start protecting them by halting all executions and moving to abolish the death penalty. Malaysia remains among the minority of countries that continue to use this archaic method of sentencing people in a cruel and inhumane manner.”