#DearSyed: A letter-writing campaign

In August 2011, Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin, a Singaporean citizen and then 35, was arrested and charged with possession of 38.84g of heroin. Under Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, an amount of more than 15g  of heroin warrants a trafficking charge punishable by the mandatory death penalty, and Syed was sentenced to death on 2 December 2015. The Court of Appeal upheld the sentence in 2018.

Syed was originally due to be hanged in Changi Prison in September last year, but his execution was stayed pending applications to the court.

As he wrote in a letter on 15 September 2020,  “I dream of better days because hope is my only possession.” 

While Syed awaits further news, much of his hope is tied to the love and support he receives from family members, friends, and concerned citizens. 

In particular, we know from his family that he looks forward very much to receiving letters. We invite you to join us in writing letters to Syed, to give him some hope and comfort for yet another day. If you’re able, we would love if you could hand-write or hand-draw your letters to Syed for a more personal, human touch. Alternatively, we welcome typed-out letters as well!

Here are the actions you can take, in support of our campaign:

  1. Write your letters and email them to us at transformjustice.sg@gmail.com. You can either hand-write/hand-draw them and scan them before emailing it to us, or type them out and email them to us.
  2. Share your letter to your own social media feeds and add our hashtag #dearsyed so that others can read your letter.

You may submit letters to us until March 31! We will then deliver all the letters to Syed. To build a collective archive of care and hope, the letters will be published on our website in April and beyond.

If you prefer, you can also send your letter to Syed directly, at:

Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin
Inmate No: X009492015
Cluster A
982 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore 507709

#DearSyed

We hope that hearing from us will be a source of solace for Syed. Death row inmates experience extreme isolation, as they are placed in solitary confinement for the whole duration of their prison sentence. Along with the bleak conditions of their incarceration, the knowledge of their impending execution is even more profoundly dehumanising.

Our letter-writing campaign is a small gesture to keep Syed in our thoughts and prayers; to counter the ways in which the state strips death row inmates of all humanity and dignity; and to remind them that we, as concerned citizens of Singapore, do not support the state-sanctioned execution of individuals in our name.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few suggestions:

Dear Syed, I’m thinking about you today because… 

Dear Syed, I’m keeping you in my thoughts today…

Hello Syed! I’d like you to know that…

Syed, I’m sending hope and good thoughts your way. 

Dear Syed, I read about you on… and I felt moved to reach out because…

If you would like to hear back from Syed, do include your return address, along with the letter!

If you’d like to know a little bit more about Syed on a personal level, before you write your letter, you can read/watch his sisters’ sharing here.

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