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Execution of mentally challenged man in Singapore invites global condemnation

Execution of mentally challenged man in Singapore invites global condemnation

Singapore City: Indian origin Malaysian national who had allegedly been dictated with learning difficulties has been executed in Singapore for an attempt to smuggle a small amount of heroine.

Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam execution, despite repeated pleas and human rights campaigns for his life, created an agitation among international rights groups, who termed it "tragic miscarriage of justice."

Nagaenthran was arrested in 2009 when he was 21 with 43g of heroin in Singapore. The following year, the court sentenced him to death. He had spent over a decade after being sentenced to death.

Nagaenthran, who was found to have had learning disability, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with an IQ of 69, had pleaded he had no knowledge of the package what he had carried but coerced into carrying it. However, the court did heed none of his mental conditions to spare his life for the crime.

Singapore's chief justice, Sundaresh Menon, has previously stated that Nagaenthran had been "afforded due process". Singapore's government claims its severe drugs laws, including the death penalty, are the most effective deterrent against crime.

His sentence horrified international rights groups, and prompted an outcry around the world, from EU representatives and UN experts, to the billionaire Richard Branson and actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry.

Within Singapore, where support for the death penalty is high, the handling of his case has also prompted some to question the city state's approach to drugs-related crimes.

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