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Singapore hangs 2nd citizen in 3 weeks for trafficking cannabis despite calls to halt executions
Wednesday 17 May 2023
Singapore on Wednesday hanged another citizen for trafficking cannabis, the second in three weeks, as it clung firmly to the death penalty despite growing calls for the city-state to halt drug-related executions.
The 37-year-old man was executed after his last-ditch bid to reopen his case was dismissed by the court Tuesday without a hearing, said activist Kokila Annamalai of the Transformative Justice Collective, which advocates for abolishing the death penalty in Singapore.
The man, who was not named as his family has asked for privacy, had been imprisoned for seven years and convicted in 2019 for trafficking around 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of cannabis, she said. His bid to reopen his case was based on DNA evidence and fingerprints that tied him to a much smaller amount, which he admitted to possessing, but the court rejected it, she added. Under Singapore laws, trafficking more than 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of cannabis may result in the death penalty.
“If we don’t come together to stop it, we fear that this killing spree will continue in the weeks and months to come,” she said. Some 600 prisoners are on death row in the city-state, mostly for drug-related offenses, she added.
Singapore executed 11 people last year for drug offenses after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hanging of one particular Malaysian believed to be mentally disabled sparked an international outcry and brought the country's capital punishment under scrutiny for flouting human rights norms.
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