Human rights lawyer M Ravi will be representing Singaporean Cher Wei Hon, who is currently facing the death penalty for drug trafficking in Vietnam.
In a Facebook post on Monday (28 December), Mr Ravi said that Mr Cher’s family had reached out to him following reports on the case of Siti Aslinda Binte Junaidi, a Singaporean facing death penalty in China for the same offence.
Mr Ravi said that he decided to take on Mr Cher’s case on a pro bono basis as Mr Cher has three young children who are being looked after by his ailing mother.
“It is very sad that he does not have any lawyers currently on board giving him proper advice on his appeal according to his family. They were not sure even if he had a lawyer during his trial,” Mr Ravi said.
“I just got in touch with a human rights lawyer in Vietnam and hope to get to the bottom of this case soon,” he added.
While Ms Aslinda may be subject to death by shooting in China, Mr Ravi noted that in Vietnam, the death penalty is carried out through lethal injections.
Similar to Ms Aslinda’s case, Mr Ravi said that Mr Cher’s situation reveals that the death penalty targets the poor.
“Before one can judge Cher’s innocence, it is important that he has proper legal representation and a fair process that metes out the punishment,” he stressed.
Mothership previously reported that Mr Cher had said that he transported the drugs to pay off his debt.
Mr Cher reportedly became acquainted with a woman named Quynh at a karaoke parlour in Vietnam, from whom he borrowed VND200 million (S$11,832).
To compensate for his debt, Ms Quynh originally made Mr Cher transport iPhones and iPads from Cambodia to Vietnam.
However, she later tasked him to move drugs across the border.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in August said that it is aware of the case and in contact with Mr Cher’s family.
“Our Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City is rendering consular assistance to Mr Cher,” MFA was reported by Mothership as saying on 13 August.