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Singapore executes man on drugs charge, rejecting mental disability plea

A Malaysian drug smuggler has been executed in Singapore, despite pleas for clemency because he was intellectually impaired.

Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was caught with about three tablespoons of heroin and had been on death row since 2010. His case was highly controversial as he was assessed by a medical expert to have an IQ of 69 – a level that indicates an intellectual disability.

The execution came after a last-ditch appeal by his mother was dismissed on Tuesday. The court said Nagaenthran had been given “due process in accordance with the law”, and had “exhausted his rights of appeal and almost every other recourse under the law over some 11 years”.

At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Nagaenthran and his family reached through a gap in a glass screen to grasp each other’s hands tightly as they wept, according to a Reuters report. His cries of “ma” could be heard in the courtroom.

On Tuesday rights group Reprieve called him the “victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice”.

“Nagen’s last days were spent, like much of the last decade, in the torturous isolation of solitary confinement,” said Reprieve’s Director Maya Foa.

“Our thoughts are with Nagen’s family, who never stopped fighting for him; their pain is unimaginable.” Read the full story in BBC News.