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Singapore court rejects Malaysian’s appeal in high-profile execution case

A Singapore court rejected on Tuesday an appeal against the execution of a Malaysian convicted of drugs smuggling, dismissing an argument put forward by his legal team that he should be spared because he was mentally impaired.

Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 34, has been on death row for more than a decade for trafficking 42.7 grammes (1.5 oz) of heroin into Singapore, which has some of the world’s toughest narcotics laws.

His plight has attracted international attention with a group of United Nations experts and British billionaire Richard Branson joining Malaysia’s prime minister and human rights activists to urge Singapore to commute his death sentence.

Dharmalingam, who was wearing a purple prison uniform, did not appear to show any reaction to the ruling.

His sister condemned the court’s decision. “We can’t accept it, it’s an unfair judgment for my brother. This is a heartless punishment,” Sarmila Dharmalingam told Reuters.

Rights groups also called for Dharmalingam’s life to be spared. Anti-death penalty group Reprieve said it believed Dharmalingam  is intellectually disabled and should be protected from the death penalty.

Read the full story at Reuters