Pardon the death sentence of Datchinamurthy a/l Kataiah.
Pardon the death sentence of Datchinamurthy a/l Kataiah.
Why this petition matters
#SaveDatch – Petition for President Mdm Halimah Yacob to pardon Datchinamurthy, who has been sentenced to death for a non-violent drug offense. Resources to #SaveDatch is towards the end.
“If my son made big bucks as a drug smuggler, why were we in such a dire situation after his arrest? Why am I still breaking my back doing manual labour at my age?”
- Lakshmi Amma (Datchinamurthy’s mother)
Datchinamurthy a/l Kataiah worried about his family’s circumstances and felt responsible for pulling them out of poverty. He dropped out after secondary school to work to support his family’s expenses. He is a disciplined, selfless person who has so much to give – he has told his family that if he were to be freed, he would reach out to vulnerable youth to make sure they don’t get into trouble as he did. While on death row, Datchinamurthy has turned to God to find strength in all this darkness. He has written many worship songs while in prison that he dreams of turning into an album.
Datchinamurthy was arrested on 18th January 2011 along with Singapore citizen, Christeen Jayamany, for allegedly trafficking 44.96g of Diamorphine. Datchinamurthy said that he was given a job by a man named “Rajah” and was told that the items were “not serious drugs”. Datchinamurthy also said that he thought that the drugs he was carrying were Chinese medicine after checking the packets.
On 18th May 2015, Datchinamurthy and Christeen were found guilty. Datchinamurthy was given the death sentence while Christeen was given life imprisonment. On 5th February 2016, Datchinamurthy’s appeal to the appellate court was rejected. In that same year, Datchinamurthy also submitted a clemency appeal to then-president, Tony Tan. In July 2019, his clemency appeal was rejected by the current president, Halimah Yacob, on the cabinet’s advice.
Datchinamurthy was set for execution on 29th April 2022. Thankfully, a stay of execution was granted to Datchinamurthy on 28th April 2022 because Datchinamurthy, along with twelve other death row prisoners, is part of a civil case regarding their prison correspondence being copied and forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, without consent from the prisoners. The hearing is set for 20th May 2022. The stay of execution is only temporary, so the State could still execute Datchinamurthy after the hearing on 20th May.
Capital punishment is often defended on the grounds that the government has a moral obligation to protect Singaporeans. Datchinamurthy comes from a poor, Malaysian Tamil working-class family. Often, minorities and the poor disproportionately fall prey to the death penalty. It is never the drug lords that pay the price, and always the drug carriers, like Datchinmurthy and many others.
There is a sense of urgency to take action after the execution of Nagaenthran a/l K. Dharmalingam which happened on 27th April 2022 and Abdul Kahar Othman who was executed earlier this year on 30th March. To prevent more lives from being sacrificed in our name, we need to do everything in our power to halt the execution of Datchinamurthy.
Datchinamurthy is a compassionate man with a burning desire to live and to give. He was misguided into committing a non-violent crime. We sincerely appeal to President Halimah Yacob and the Cabinet to grant Datchinamurthy’s clemency.
Things you can do to #SaveDatch:
1. Sign and share this petition.
2. Write and deliver clemency letters to the Istana:
- View letter templates and samples here.
- Here is a guide on how to submit your letter.
- If you would like to send letters to the Istana but are unable to physically do so, you may DM @sachi.wagh on Instagram.
3. Send emails to your MPs, the President, and the Prime Minister:
- Find your MPs here.
- President Mdm Halimah Yacob: email@example.com
- Private Secretary to the President Ms Katija Beevee Binte Mohamed Haneefa: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Principal Private Secretary to the President Benny Lee Kah Chong: email@example.com
- Istana: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong: email@example.com
- 1 Private Secretary to Prime Minister Mrs Connie Chan: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2 Private Secretary to Prime Minister Ms Yeo Lim: email@example.com
- Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 4G Leader Mr Lawrence Wong: email@example.com
- Prime Minister’s Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Share your letters online and use the hashtag “#SaveDatch” to urge others to write in about their concerns as well.
5. Speak to your MPs at meet-the-people sessions:
- Share with them your concerns surrounding Datchinamurthy’s case and urge them to take action by raising this issue in parliament.
6. Call the President and her Private Secretaries. These are their contact numbers:
- President Mdm Halimah Yacob: 68355325
- Private Secretary to the President Ms Katija Beevee Binte Mohamed Haneefa: 68355325
- Principal Private Secretary to the President Benny Lee Kah Chong: 68355333
7. Urge local news outlets to report about this campaign:
- 8 Days Chief Editor (Lau Kuan Wei): email@example.com
- Channel News Asia: firstname.lastname@example.org; SingaporeDesk@mediacorp.com.sg
- TODAY: https://www.todayonline.com/contact-us
- Mediacorp: email@example.com
- Business Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Singapore Press Holdings: email@example.com
- Shin Min Daily News: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Berita Harian: email@example.com
- Tamil Murasu: firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Donate to Transformative Justice Collective (TJC) via this link, or via the PayNow QR code which can be found here at the last slide.
- TJC runs a Support Fund to help families of incarcerated people, particularly people on death row, with expenses like travel/transport, food, accommodation, and funerals. Please remember to select/indicate “TJC’s Support Fund” while doing so, otherwise, your donation will end up going to TJC’s general operations fund.
- Advisory: The requests for donations you receive after signing this petition are enabled by the people from Change.org, who are asking for advertisement money. Those donations DO NOT go towards funding TJC or families of incarcerated people. To donate to TJC refer to the above.
- Singapore court stays execution of Indian-origin man
- After Nagaenthran, another Malaysian fights to stay alive without lawyers
- Another Malaysian to be hanged in Singapore wins reprieve
- Singapore: Imminent double execution of Malaysian men must be halted
- Datchinamurthy’s Story: https://www.instagram.com/p/CczM7XgFbEa/
- FAQs on the death penalty for drugs in Singapore: https://www.wethecitizens.net/faq-the-death-penalty-for-drugs-in/
- Presidential clemency in Singapore: https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/presidential-clemency
- Constitution of the Republic of Singapore “Grant of Pardon, etc.”: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/CONS1963?ProvIds=pr22P-
- “You Don’t See The Sky”: Life Behind Bars in Singapore: https://transformativejusticecollective.org/2022/05/09/you-dont-see-the-sky-life-behind-bars-in-singapore/
- An interview with an ex-drug courier in Singapore: https://fb.me/e/2cGb6XdO0
- Public opinion survey reveals low support for Singapore’s mandatory death penalty: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3122150; https://deathpenaltyproject.org/singapore-public-opinion-survey-reveals-low-support-for-the-mandatory-death-penalty/
- #SaveNagaenthran #SaveDatch Livestream from Hong Lim Park: https://fb.watch/cUSoPPoX-A/