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Vui Kong's Letters, Yong Vui Kong

Letters from Vui Kong – The Tenth Letter : Drugs and the Death Penalty

Yong Vui Kong is a death row inmate in Singapore. He was arrested at age 19 with 47.27g of heroin, convicted of trafficking and sentenced under the Mandatory Death Penalty. His final appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 4 April 2011. He can now only plead for clemency from the President (acting on the advice of the Cabinet).

If the President does not grant clemency to Vui Kong, these will be the last 12 letters he will ever write.

The following is the tenth letter:

第十章 :《毒品与死刑》

野田,

你曾经说要我谈谈毒品与死刑,我说我没有资格谈这问题,因为我本身就是因为毒品而被判死刑的人,而且,我对这问题也没有好好思考过。

你再次提起了这问题。

在这里的人,都是被判死刑的人。而大多数,是因为毒品。有的年纪比较老,但大多数是年轻人。他们都是经过审判,上诉失败,有的在等总统的答案,有的在等他们的“时间”到。他们都有自己的故事。

哥哥有提过一个死囚,他叫俊炎。相信报纸上也有报道过。运良他每星期一都会见到俊炎爸爸,有一次在监狱外,他爸爸还叫运良签名。

拉维律师也有提过,他的故事是这样:俊炎的爸爸妈妈离婚,他跟爸爸住,也帮爸爸在早市夜市摆摊子卖衣服和光碟。他认识了一个常客。这常客成功说服他,要他帮忙从外国带金条到新加坡。所有的安排都由这常客负责。但原来,暗藏在行李箱的不是金条,而是毒品。俊炎一直都不知道里面是毒品,直到警察撕开行李箱的内侧。他向法庭说出了这个故事的来龙去脉,也说出了这常客是谁和他的手机号码。但法官不相信他的话。律师跟我说,警察没有尽全力的追查这个人,而法官也不认为这很重要。

我不是律师,可是还是我想不通,为什么不去追查这个人?很多时候,就是因为这些人,我们会变成这样。找到这个人,不就能证明俊炎是不是在讲骗话吗?俊炎被关在这里,他自己怎么找?

我开始在想,会不会有真的被冤枉的人?是不是所有的审讯都很公平?如果被冤枉而又被吊死,那不是很惨吗?

我之前有说过,我隔壁的狱友。他很年轻,他已经死了。我有跟他谈过很多话,他没有说起他的事,可是我觉得他是一个很天真,很无知的小孩。他不能面对死亡。那一天的凌晨3点,他被拖出去,他的哭声,让我的心很痛,我不断的念经,希望他减少痛苦。我在想,像他这样的一个人,怎么会变成一个危害社会的毒贩?

那一次后,我对狱官说,虽然我是有错,但背后安排我的人也有错,我要停止他再伤害其他人,我向警方说出了那个人是谁。过后怎么样,我不知道。我听律师说,他被扣留了,但是没有证据,所以没有被提控。

还有一件事,我一定要说。大概2个月前,有一位狱友,他的年纪比较大。他的上诉成功,已经被放出去了。我问律师为什么,不是说上诉很难的吗?几乎没有几个成功过吗?律师跟我说,上诉庭的决定是这样的:这个囚犯带了很多不同种类的毒品,其中一种是海咯英,他向法庭解释说他不知道其中含有海咯英,法庭相信他,认为他真的不知道,所以放了他。律师还开玩笑的跟我说,如果俊炎说他知道那是毒品,可是不知道是海咯英,可能还有机会。

律师也乘机会跟我解释有关毒品的法律,说什么被发现身上有毒品就假设有罪,有超过多少分量的毒品就被假设是贩毒等等,我不是很懂,可是我觉得这很重要。很多人就是因为不懂,然后这法律对自己的不利,最后被判死刑。

看了这些案件,我觉得很奇怪,为什么法庭可以相信这个不相信那个,到底是以什么标准,什么态度来对待毒品的案件和死刑?律师有跟我解释说,可是太复杂了,我不是很懂,也不敢在这里说。

我想我能够说的,就是奉劝读者去了解这法律吧!

伟光

**后记:伟光提起上诉成功的狱友并没有被放出去,只是由死刑改为其他判决

English translation:

The Tenth Letter : Drugs and the Death Penalty

Yetian,

You once asked me to write about drugs and the death penalty, but I said that I did not have the right to discuss such an issue because I myself have been sentenced to death because of a drug offence. Also, I had not really thought too deeply about this question.

You asked me again about this issue.

Everyone here has been sentenced to death. Most of them are sentenced to death for drug offences. There are some who are older, but most of us are young. They have all been through their trials and lost their appeals. Some are waiting for responses from the President, others are just waiting for their “time” to come. They all have their own stories.

My brother mentioned another inmate; his name is Chun Yin. I believe the newspapers have reported his case before. Every Monday Yun Leong will see Chun Yin’s father. Once, outside the prison, Chun Yin’s father even asked Yun Leong to sign his petition.

My lawyer Mr Ravi also mentioned him before. His story is like this: after Chun Ying’s parents divorced, Chun Yin stayed with his father, helping his father run stalls selling clothes and VCDs in morning and night markets. He got to know a regular customer. This regular customer convinced him to go overseas and bring gold bars into Singapore. All the arrangements were made by this customer. But it turned out that hidden in the bag were not gold bars, but drugs. Chun Yin did not know that it was drugs hidden in the bag until the police ripped open the lining. He told the court all the details of the matter, and also revealed the identity of the customer and his phone numbers. But the judge did not believe him. My lawyer told me that the police had not done their best to trace this customer, and the judge did not think that it was important.

I am not a lawyer, but I cannot understand, why didn’t they trace this man? Often it is because of people like him that we are in such a situation. If this man was found, wouldn’t we be able to find out if Chun Yin was telling the truth or not? Chun Yin is currently locked inside here, how can he find the truth himself?

I am beginning to wonder, are there really people who have been wronged? Are all the sentences really fair? If a person has been wronged and hanged, isn’t it very tragic?

I have mentioned my next-door inmate before. He was very young, and he has already died. We talked about a lot of things. He never mentioned his case, but I feel that he was a very naïve, very ignorant kid. He could not face death. That morning at 3am, he was dragged out. His crying really made my heart ache. I kept chanting, hoping that his suffering would be decreased. I wonder, how could a person like him be a drug trafficker out to harm society?

After that time, I told the warden that even though I am at fault, so is the person who was behind the scenes making all the arrangements for me. I wanted to stop him from harming more people, so I told the police who this person was. I don’t know what happened next. I heard from the lawyer that he has been detained, but there is no evidence, so he has not been charged.

There is still one more thing that I must talk about. About 2 months ago, there was another inmate. He was older. His appeal was successful and he has been released. I asked my lawyer why; isn’t it very difficult to appeal? Isn’t it true that only a few people win their appeals? The lawyer told me that the Court of Appeal’s decision is like this: this person brought in many different types of drugs, and one of these was heroin. He told the court that he did not know that one of these drugs was heroin. The court believed him and said that he really didn’t know he was carrying heroin, and so he was released. The lawyer even jokingly told me, if only Chun Yin had said that he knew he was carrying drugs, just not that the drug was heroin, he might have had a chance.

My lawyer also takes the opportunity to explain to me the law regarding drug offences, saying that as long as drugs are found on you guilt is presumed, and if you are carrying more than a certain amount you will be presumed to be trafficking, etc. I don’t fully understand, but I think that this is very important. Many people don’t know about this, and because they fall on the wrong side of this law, they are sentenced to death.

Learning about these cases, I find it very strange. How is it that the court can believe this person but not that person; what is the standard and attitude adopted towards drug cases and the death penalty? My lawyer has tried to explain it to me, but it is too complicated and I don’t quite understand, so I don’t dare to talk about it here.

I suppose what I can say here is to encourage all the readers to go and understand this law!

Vui Kong

**Note: The man Vui Kong mentioned to have won his appeal did not get acquitted. He only had his death sentence overturned, and received a different sentence.

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  1. Pingback: 最后的12章之10:《毒品与死刑》 | SAVE VUI KONG 给杨伟光第二次机会 - June 28, 2011

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