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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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S’PORE PRISON RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS THAT THEY OBSTRUCTED DEATHROW INMATE’S APPEAL

45-year-old death row inmate Abdul Rahim Shapiee is set to be executed today (5 August), according to Learning From The Margins via MustShareNews.

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His sister, Norhafizah Shapiee, then submitted a letter of complaint claiming that the prison authorities had “placed impossible obstacles which prevented their suit (appeal) from reaching the court”.

Singapore Prison Service’s statement

Allegations by Sister of Prisoner Awaiting Capital Punishment

  1. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) is aware of claims made by the sister of a Prisoner Awaiting Capital Punishment (PACP), Abdul Rahim Bin Shapiee (“Abdul Rahim”), that SPS had intentionally obstructed the submission of a legal application (“Originating Claim”) by a group of PACPs, in order to facilitate the carrying out of the capital sentence imposed on Abdul Rahim, which is presently scheduled for the 5th of August 2022.
  2. This is untrue.
  3. No PACP approached any SPS officer on 25 July 2022 to request to file any legal application.
  4. On 28 July 2022, two PACPs had made a request to a SPS officer for advice on the process of filing an Originating Claim with the Court. Since the advice related to legal proceedings to be filed in Court, the SPS officer told them that they should seek advice from the Court on the specific documents required for the filing of an application of that nature, as well as the fees involved. This is the standard procedure for prisoners who are not assisted by legal counsel for the filing of non-routine applications.1 Additionally, on the same day, one of the two aforementioned PACPs was issued with a letterform to write to the Court to pose his queries, when he requested for it. The letterform was not used.
  5. Contrary to the claims made, SPS officers did not ask any PACP for any application form or e-litigation form, or deny any request to file a court application on such basis.
  6. The two PACPs mentioned at [4] did not inform SPS that their intended Originating Claim involved Abdul Rahim, or that the application required urgent attention. In fact, one of the two PACPs who spoke to the SPS officer on 28 July 2022 informed the officer that the documents were not finalised as he was awaiting an upcoming visit on 1 August 2022 to receive a printout of another document.
  7. On 1 August 2022, the PACP representing the Claimants in the Originating Claim (the “Representative PACP”) submitted the final set of documents to SPS. On the same day, SPS assisted to file the set of documents with the Court, on behalf of the PACPs. As there was an application fee to be paid at the Supreme Court, SPS also made arrangements with the Representative PACP’s family for the required payment. A SPS officer was present at the Supreme Court to assist with the filing of the application. The application was successfully filed on the same afternoon (1 August 2022).

Singapore Prison Service

4 August 2022

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1 Examples of routine applications which SPS staff are familiar with include the filing of a Criminal Motion and Judicial Review (Originating Application).

Source: Singapore Prison Service

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