Death Penalty Delivers Violence and Cruelty, not Justice

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) offer our condolences for the family of Prabu N. Pathmanathan for their loss and condemns the execution of Prabu N. Pathmanathan by Singapore on the dawn of 26 October 2018.

The pursuit of justice through death penalty can only be described as a folly as death penalty itself does not provide for justice but merely inflict violence upon another. The pursuit of justice cannot rely solely on punitive measures but must include an opportunity to rehabilitate the offender and an opportunity for there to be reconciliation, not just for the family of victims but the greater society which the crime has harmed.

The death penalty also inflicts unspeakable cruelty and mental anguish against families of death row inmates. The family members are forced to count down to the moment which their loved ones would be taken away from them forever by a callous state bureaucracy who hides behind the veil of law and justice. The pain inflicted by the state imposing death penalty is no different from the pain caused to victims who may or may not have suffered at the hand of the alleged offender.

However lawful the death penalty may seem, there is no denying that the death penalty is no more than state sanctioned murder, and in no context can murder of another be considered as a form of justice. Attempts by state to hide behind the veil of law and justice in defending the death penalty only strengthen the perception that the state is in no way interested in pursuing justice.

The loss of Prabu N. Pathmanathan strengthen SUARAM’s commitment to the abolishment of death penalty and we vow to reject and oppose any and all executions.

SUARAM would like to acknowledge the contribution by the Government of Malaysia in the pursuit of clemency for Prabu N. Pathmanathan and call for the Government of Malaysia to strengthen its resolve for the abolition of death penalty within Malaysia and globally and ensure that the injustice inflicted by our neighbour will never again taint our nation.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

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