As I mentioned in the last issue sent out earlier today, human rights lawyer M Ravi, representing Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin, filed an application for a judicial review yesterday. Ravi argued the case this morning, and although the application was dismissed by the High Court, the judge nevertheless granted Syed an interim stay of execution so he can appeal the decision before the Court of Appeal. You can read Ravi’s update on his Facebook page.
This means that Syed will not hang in Changi Prison tomorrow morning.
This development has brought great relief, but this is a reprieve, not a victory. The fight is far from over. It is still possible for the Court of Appeal to hear Ravi (and they could potentially do this quite soon) and dismiss the appeal, which would put Syed right back on track to be hanged. The stay is only temporary; what it’s given us is time for more action and advocacy.
Please continue writing to your MPs, and to President Halimah Yacob. Here’s a link to a template that you can use when writing to the president — she still has the power to put an end to this by granting Syed clemency and commuting his death sentence to life imprisonment. For writing to your MPs, you can use this template. Feel free to edit and personalise it so you get to have your say.
Also, the response to the online petition has been really encouraging — at the time of writing, the number of signatures has already surpassed 15,000! I can still remember the days — which weren’t that long ago — when we would comfort ourselves by saying that 200 signatures for an online petition for an inmate wasn’t that bad. Things can evolve and change, and every single person counts in this effort. If you haven’t signed the petition, please do so here, and share it with everyone you know!