The Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) is holding its first public workshop.
Established in 2005, SADPC has fronted many campaigns against the execution of death row inmates, collaborating with individuals and groups such as the Second Chances, and Think Centre. It is also a member of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN), a regional coalition working towards the repeal of the death penalty.
The group has held a number of public forums discussing and advocating for the sentence of death row inmates to be commuted, including the high-profile case of Yong Vui Kong in 2009 who obtained a stay of execution at the eleventh hour and was eventually spared the gallows in 2013 after revisions to the Misuse of Drugs Act were made.
The government’s rare change of mind was credited to the vigorous and sustained campaigning by SADPC’s founder and human rights lawyer, M Ravi, along with a broad network of families and friends of inmates, activists, organisers, filmmakers, journalists, legal experts and parliamentarians.
“We have not had a advocacy training workshop since the campaign started 10 years ago.”, says M Ravi. “The public workshop is a first since the campaign started 11 years ago. It marks a key step forward and a new chapter for us.”
Like many others working on social issues in Singapore, it was “learning on the go”according to M Ravi, who was thrown into the fray himself when the late J B Jeyaratnam passed him his first case. “We learned along the way and want to share our experiences as well as the legal issues surrounding the debate on death penalty.”
Sharing at the workshop will be filmmaker Lynn Lee of Lianain Films, journalist and activist Kirsten Han of We Believe In Second Chances, and lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam and M Ravi. The speakers will cover the various aspects of the advocacy work involved, from inmate family support to legal challenges.
The half-day event will be held on 27 August at the Agora (see Facebook event page). Programme details are below. All are welcome.
2.30pm – 3.30pm
Lynn Lee, Film maker
“Documenting and telling stories of death row inmates”
Kirsten Han, Journalist
“Working with families of death row inmates facing execution”
3.30pm – 3.45pm
3.45pm – 5.30pm
Eugene Thuraisingam, Lawyer
“Problems with amendments to section section 33(b) of MDA and latest constitutional challenge against section 33(b) MDA”
M.Ravi, Founder of SADPC
“Local and international campaign strategies and networks”