Singapore hangs 2 Cannabis traffickers
A man was hanged at Changi Prison in eastern Singapore at dawn today for trafficking 1.5 kilogrammes of cannabis.
He is the second cannabis trafficker to be executed at the prison in just three weeks.
The 37-year-old ethnic Malay Singaporean was hanged today after a last-minute plea to stop the execution was rejected by the appeal court without a hearing.
In Singapore, trafficking just 500 grammes of cannabis is punishable by the death penalty. The man executed today, whose name is withheld due to his family’s wishes for privacy, was found guilty of trafficking three times that amount in 2019.
He confessed to possessing a far smaller amount of cannabis and tried to reopen the case based on DNA evidence that supported his confession. However, the appeal was rejected by the court, according to Transformative Justice Collective, an NGO fighting against the death penalty in Singapore.
Just three weeks ago, Singapore ignored pleas from the United Nations to “urgently reconsider” hanging 46 year old Tangaraju Suppiah who was found guilty of trafficking 1 kilogramme of cannabis. He was hanged at Changi Prison at dawn on April 26, 2023.
Activists also raised concerns about the weakness of the evidence used to convict Tangaraju as well as that he was not given access to a Tamil interpreter. He was forced to represent himself at his last appeal as his family was unable to secure a lawyer for the hearing.
Richard Branson – founder of Virgin – spoke out online to say that Singapore might be about to execute an innocent man because Tangaraju was “not anywhere near” the drugs at the time of his arrest. In response, Singapore’s Home Affairs Ministry said Branson showed “disrespect for Singapore’s judges and our criminal justice system with such allegations.”
Activist groups pointed out that cannabis is legal in neighbouring Thailand, where anyone over 20 years old can legally buy a kilogramme of cannabis. Transformative Justice Collective said it was “illogical” that someone could be executed for a substance being freely enjoyed, traded, and used medicinally in the same region.
Thirteen death row inmates have been hanged since Singapore resumed executions in March 2022. Despite calls to for abolition, Singapore remains that the death penalty successfully deters potential drug traffickers.