10TH JULY 2012
The Save Vui Kong Campaign is pleased to learn that the Singapore Government has proposed an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act to abolish the mandatory death sentence for drug mules under certain circumstances.
According to the proposal, drug trafficking offenses will no longer punishable with the mandatory death sentence, instead, the court is given discretion to impose life imprisonment in cases where the accused person is clearly a courier not involved in the supply and distribution chain, or where the accused has cooperated with the police or suffers from a mental disability.
We also learned that “once the amendment has been put in place, all accused persons who meet the requirements can elect to be considered for a review of the sentence under the new law. This will include accused persons in ongoing cases, as well as convicted persons who have already exhausted all appeal procedures and are currently awaiting execution”.
With this amendment, we believe that Yong Vui Kong is eligible to apply for a review of his sentence on the grounds that he was young, naïve, led astray and used as a courier by the drug lords, whom he had identified to the police during investigation, as provided under the new amendment of the law. Yong Vui Kong has since repented and he vows to play a role in the anti-drug campaign.
The same goes for Chung Chin Yin, who has testified consistently that he had been misled into believing that what he was carrying is gold bar instead of drugs. He had also provided details of the person who had arranged for his trip, including the name, contact number and description to the police as well as during trial.
And many more who had fallen victim to the drug industry, who may have no knowledge of what they were told to carry, or were induced, misled, intimidated or forced into carrying drugs for the drug lords.
In the mean time while waiting for the amendments to be officially approved, we urge that all execution be suspended immediately.
Last but not least, we welcome this encouraging — positive step taken by the Singapore Government towards conforming to the international human rights standard
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