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Singapore executes intellectually disabled man for drug trafficking

Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, a 34-year-old Malaysian citizen with IQ level 69, convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 after being arrested in 2009 for bringing 42.7 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin into Singapore.

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Singapore: A man with intellectual disabilities was executed on Wednesday after a long campaign for clemency failed.

According to CNN, Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, a 34-year-old Malaysian citizen with IQ level 69, convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 after being arrested in 2009 for bringing 42.7 grams (1.5 ounces) of heroin into Singapore.

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“His brother is waiting to collect his body and take it back to their hometown, Ipoh in Malaysia,” Surendran said.

According to CNN, Dharmalingam’s case drew international attention — including from the United Nations, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and British billionaire Richard Branson — who decried the court’s proceeding despite his intellectual disability.

However, a Singapore court rejected the legal challenge by Dharmalingam’s mother. CNN quoted anti-death penalty group Reprieve as saying that Dharmalingam’s “name will go down in history as the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice.”

“Hanging an intellectually disabled, mentally unwell man because he was coerced into carrying less than three tablespoons of diamorphine is unjustifiable and a flagrant violation of international laws that Singapore has chosen to sign up to,” Reprieve director Maya Foa said in a statement.

“Nagen’s last days were spent, like much of the last decade, in the torturous isolation of solitary confinement. He had to seek the court’s permission to hold his family’s hands one final time yesterday. Our thoughts are with Nagen’s family, who never stopped fighting for him; their pain is unimaginable.”

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