Friday, 11 November 2016

Amnesty Int'l pleads for clemency as Nigerian man is set to be executed in Singapore for drug trafficking on Nov. 18th

The Singapore government has fixed November 18th as the date for the execution of Nigerian man, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, who was arrested for drug trafficking on April 9th 2007.

Chijioke was arraigned in a court in Singapore on December 30th 2008 and was sentenced to death for the crime which attracts capital punishment in Singapore. Chijioke was found with over 2.6 kilograms of cannabis when he was arrested.

Amnesty International in a statement released yesterday, urged Human Rights groups to petition the Singapore government to grant Chijioke clemency. Read the Amnesty International full press release below:
NIGERIAN TO BE EXECUTED for drug trafficking
The execution of Nigerian national Chijioke Stephen Obioha has been set for 18 November. He was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore and was given the mandatory death sentence. A new clemency application is pending before the President.
The family of Chijioke Stephen Obioha, a Nigerian national convicted of and given the mandatory death sentence for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking on 30 December 2008, have been informed that 18 November is Chijoke’s new execution date. On 9 April 2007 Chijoke was found in possession of more than 2.6 kilograms of cannabis, surpassing the statutory amount of 500 grams that under Singapore law triggers the automatic presumption of trafficking. Also in his possession were keys to a room containing additional prohibited substances, leading the authorities to presume him guilty of possession and knowledge of the drugs. 
Chijioke Stephen Obioha’s appeal against his conviction and sentence was rejected in August 2010. Maintaining his innocence of the crime, Chijoke initially refused to make use of his right to resentencing which amendments to Singapore mandatory’s death penalty laws made in 2013 allowed for. In Singapore, when there is a presumption of drug possession and trafficking, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. This is a violation of fair trial rights, specifically the presumption of innocence.
After the rejection of his clemency appeal in April 2015, his execution was set for 15 May 2015. It was stayed a day earlier to allow him to apply for re-sentencing. His family were only informed on 25 October 2016 that he had resolved to withdraw his application for re-sentencing earlier in the year, following legal advice that he would not qualify as “courier” under the amended laws. 
Consequently, the Court of Appeal lifted the stay of execution with effect from 24th October, resulting in the execution date to be set for 18th November. Chijioke Stephen Obioha appealed once again for clemency for the President, who has the power to commute his death sentence. 
Please write immediately in English or your own language:
  •     Urging the President to immediately halt Chijioke Stephen Obioha’s execution and grant him clemency;
  •     Calling on the authorities to immediately re-impose an official moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, and commute all existing death sentences;
  •     Reminding the authorities that drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law, and that the imposition of the death penalty as a mandatory punishment is also prohibited.
President of Singapore 
His Excellency Tony Tan Keng Yam Office of the President of the Republic of Singapore Orchard Road, Singapore 238823 
Fax: +65 6735 3135 
Email: Salutation: Your Excellency
Prime Minister of Singapore His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong Prime Minister's Office Istana Annexe, Orchard Road Singapore 238823 
Fax: +65 6332 8983 
Email: Salutation: Your Excellency    
And copies to:
Officer-in-charge Registry    
Superintendent Cheong KumFoong
Changi Prison Complex
Singapore Prison Service
982 Upper Changi Road North
Singapore 507709    
Fax: +65420425
Email: send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
NameAddress 1Address 2Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation    
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. 

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