Malaysia Set to Execute Brothers Over 2006 Murder: Amnesty International

Ray Sherman
Kuala Lumpur
170314-MY-execution-620.jpg Family members and others participate in a candlelight vigil for the Batumalai brothers at the Kajang Prison on Tuesday night.
Courtesy of Amnesty International

Malaysian authorities plan to execute two brothers on Wednesday for an 11-year-old murder even though the Pardons Board has not heard their latest clemency appeal, according to Amnesty International (AI).

Rames and Suthar Batumalai are to be hanged, according to AI officials, who stated that family members were notified Monday that the executions would occur on Friday. On Tuesday, prison authorities asked the Batumalai family to make their last visit.

AI Malaysia’s Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu condemned the “hurried and secretive” manner in which the brothers’ executions were to be carried out.

“Malaysia carries out executions on Friday mornings and this double execution would be the first-ever that we are aware of to take place on a Wednesday morning,” she said in a statement. “This is symbolic of the rushed nature of this particular execution.”

BenarNews attempts to reach Prison Department officials were unsuccessful.

The brothers, age 40 and 45, were granted a temporary reprieve from the gallows on Feb. 24 following a petition by their 70-year-old mother to the ruler of the state of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir. The petition pleaded for the death sentences to be commuted or replaced with a life sentence.

AI noted that last month, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor pardoned another inmate facing execution, reducing the sentence to life in prison.

The brothers, who maintain their innocence, were sentenced to death in April 2010 under Section 302 of the Penal Code for the murder of Krishnan Raman on Feb 4, 2006. Shamini claimed the brothers were convicted on circumstantial evidence as the High Court disregarded their claim that they merely intervened to stop two other men from attacking and killing the victim.

“Amnesty International has been informed that a fresh clemency application has been submitted by their lawyer on Feb. 23 and this has not been heard by the Pardons Board. This application includes a statutory declaration from the wife of the deceased, appealing to the Pardons Board for the brothers not be executed and instead be allowed to serve a life sentence,” Shamini said.

Malaysia is among 25 countries in the world imposing the death penalty on crimes including murder, drug, kidnapping, and waging war against the King.

Malaysian government and civil society leaders have been discussing abolishing mandatory death sentences.


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