Sarmila Dharmalingam is praying for a miracle. Her brother, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, is set to be hanged in Singapore’s Changi Prison. “When I’m alone and I think of my brother, there is pain. But [we need to] be brave and keep on praying – anything can happen,” she told the BBC.
In 2009, then 21-year-old Nagaenthran was caught trying to smuggle heroin into Singapore from Malaysia. Nagaenthran was initially due to be hanged on Wednesday morning, but was granted a last-minute stay of execution. On Tuesday he was found to have Covid-19 and the execution was further delayed.
The Malaysian citizen was sentenced to death despite an assessment by a medical expert that he has an IQ of 69 – a level recognised as indicating an intellectual disability.
The case has also caused outrage in Nagaenthran’s home country Malaysia where protests have been held calling for the execution to be halted. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has also personally appealed to his Singaporean counterpart.
After 10 years on death row, Sarmila received a letter sent by the Singapore Prison Service saying Nagaenthran’s execution had been set for 10 November. “I couldn’t accept it… I was crying. I cried the whole day. I was so afraid to tell my mother because she suffers from [some] health conditions. I couldn’t look her in the face.” Unable to see her brother before his planned execution, she says she is praying everyday.
Read the full story on BBC News.