The second execution for cannabis trafficking in three weeks was carried out by hanging in Singapore on Wednesday amid rising calls for the city-state to stop drug-related executions.
According to activist Kokila Annamalai of the Transformative Justice Collective, which fights for the abolition of the death penalty in Singapore, the 37-year-old man was executed after his last-ditch attempt to reopen his case on Tuesday was denied by the court without a hearing.
She said the man, who asked that his name not be used because his family had requested privacy, had been sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty 2019 of trafficking about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of marijuana.
She continued that the judge rejected his request to reopen his case despite DNA and fingerprint evidence linking him to a considerably lesser amount of marijuana that he acknowledged having.
A death sentence is an option under Singaporean law for trafficking marijuana weighing more than 500 grams (1.1 pounds).
She said that we worry that this killing spree will continue in the upcoming weeks and months if we don’t band together to stop it.
She continued that the city-state has 600 convicts on death row, most of whom are there for drug-related charges.
After a two-year delay owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore hanged 11 people for drug charges last year.
International outrage over the hanging of a particular Malaysian who was allegedly mentally ill led to a review of the nation’s use of the death penalty for violating human rights standards.
In the first execution of the year three weeks ago, Singaporean Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, was hung for trafficking one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cannabis despite not being found in possession of the contraband.
He denied being in charge of organizing the drug deliveries, but prosecutors claimed phone numbers pointed to him as the culprit.
Singapore has been urged to cease executions for drug-related charges by human rights organizations, British tycoon Richard Branson, and the United Nations due to mounting evidence that the death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent.
However, the government of Singapore insists that everyone is given a fair trial and that the death penalty is still “part of Singapore’s comprehensive harm prevention strategy, which targets both drug demand and supply.”
Despite a break since 2016, Amnesty International said that Indonesia executed 112 people for drug-related crimes by firing squad in addition to Singapore last year.
Malaysia no longer enforces the death sentence as a required punishment for significant offenses, unlike neighboring Thailand, which has legalized marijuana.