Human Rights Lawyer M Ravi is appealing for public support after the Singapore Attorney General (AG) rejected the request to waive the adverse personal cost of S$11,400 ordered against Ms Violet Netto and himself in the representation of three death row inmates.
Mr Ravi was assisting Ms Netto in the representation of three death row inmates, Roslan Bakar and Rosman bin Abdullah and Pausi Jefridin, who were served with execution notices a year ago. The three were sentenced to death over drug trafficking offences.
The applications from the three sought multiple declarations in relation to the death penalty for drug offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap. 185) (MDA) in Singapore.
These include declarations that the death penalty is unconstitutional for being disproportionate given the preponderance of persons of Malay ethnicity being sentenced to death, and for breaching Article 9 (1) and Article 12 (1) of the Constitution due to various issues related to the administration of justice, including the forwarding of privileged correspondence and information between persons in death row and their lawyers and families, surveillance of the interview room, and the compromise of confidentiality of solicitor-client communication.
Last year, High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh, in dismissing the appeals by the three, said no new arguments were raised that were different from earlier pleas that had been rejected, and accused the complainants of abusing the court.
One of the three appealers, Pausi, suffers from an intellectual disability and has an IQ which is lower than Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam whom the two counsels also represented.
Mr Ravi, in his Facebook post, noted that Mr Netto, who is now 80 years old, was already ill at that time but hauled herself to court as no lawyers in Singapore wanted to represent the three death row inmates who were facing execution for fear of reprisal by the state and the AG.
“In our recent letter to the Attorney General , we sought to seek a waiver of the cost order on compassionate grounds given that Violet is now in a hospice after she was unsuccessful in her cancer treatment,” wrote Mr Ravi.
Mr Ravi also noted that a sum of S$8644.92 out of the S$11,467.82 that has been ordered against the two have been raised so far.
They have till 14 March to raise the sum to pay the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
All three death row inmates are alive.
Two of the death row inmates, Roman and Roslan, are currently challenging the prison authorities on forwarding confidential and privileged communications to the AG, which is now before the Court of Appeal, along with 11 other death row inmates who have joined in this legal challenge.
All in all, Mr Ravi, who currently does not have a practising license, has been ordered to pay S$71k for personal costs on cases he has represented and has paid S$60k of it thus far.
The cost orders against M Ravi have raised concerns among rights groups, particularly Malaysian NGO Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), who have criticized the Singapore government for discouraging lawyers from taking public interest cases.
LFL previously spoke out against alleged attempts by the Singapore Law Society and AG to stop M Ravi from practising in the republic.
For those who wish to contribute to the outstanding S$2822.84 to be raised, please refer to the details below.
Account Name: Ravi Madasamy
Account Number: 308020177
Please add “SOLIDARITY” in the reference so Ravi will know what the money you is for!
You can also PayNow to Ravi at this number: +65 93531866
If you don’t use bank transfer or PayNow, you can contribute here: http://ko-fi.com/mravi