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Capital punishment in Singapore

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Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Singapore. The first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, was a staunch supporter of harsh punishments including execution, but executions peaked under his successor, Goh Chok Tong; the city-state had the second highest per-capita execution rate in the world between 1994 and 1998, estimated by the United Nations to be 13.83 executions annually per one million people during that period.[1] The highest was Turkmenistan (now an abolitionist country) with 14.92. Since then, execution has become far less common, with some years having no executions at all. No one was executed in 2012 and 2013, and two persons were executed in 2014. Nevertheless, in recent years, executions have started to increase again: in 2018, 13 people were executed, the most since at least 2003.[2]

Each execution in Singapore is carried out by long drop hanging in Changi Prison at dawn on Friday, except once on 20 May 2016 when the execution of Kho Jabing was carried out at 3:30 pm after his appeal for a stay of execution was dismissed that morning.[3] In a survey done in 2005, reported in The Straits Times, 95% of Singaporeans believe that their country should retain the death penalty.[4]

Singapore has had capital punishment since it was a British colony and became independent before the United Kingdom abolished capital punishment. The Singaporean procedure of hanging condemned individuals is similar to the methods formerly used in the United Kingdom.

In 2012, however, Singapore amended its laws to exempt some cases from the mandatory death sentence.[5]

Statistics[edit source | edit]

The following table of executions was compiled by Amnesty International from several sources, including statistics supplied by the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2001 and government figures reported to Agence France-Presse in September 2003.[6] Numbers in curly brackets are the number of foreign citizens executed, according to information disclosed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Year Murder Drug-related Firearms Total
1991 19 7 0 26
1992 13 7 1 21
1993 10 2 0 12
1994 21 54 1 76
1995 20 52 1 73
1996 10 {7} 40 {10} 0 50
1997 {3} 11 {2} 5 15
1998 4 {1} 24 {5} 0 28
1999 8 {2} 35 {7} 0 43
2000 4 {2} 17 {5} 0 21
2000 ? 23 ? ?
2001 ? 22 ? ?
2002 ? ? ? ?
2003 ? ? ? 10
2004 ? ? ? 8{2}[7]
2005 ? ? ? 8{1}[7]
2006 ? ? ? 8{2}[7]
2007 1 2 0 3{2}[7]
2008 4 2 0 6{3}[8]
2009 1 3 1 5{2}[8]
2010 0 0 0 0[8]
2011 2? 2 0? 4[9]
2012 0 0 0 0[10]
2013 0 0 0 0[10]
2014 0 2 0 2[10]
2015 1 3 0 4[11]
2016 2 2 0 4[12]
2017 0 8 0 8[13][14][15][16]
2018 2 11 0 13[17][18][19][20]
2019 2 2 0 4[21]

Detailed statistics were not released by the Singapore government between 2000 and 2006. Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong told the BBC in September 2003 that he believed there were "in the region of about 70 to 80" hangings in 2003. Two days later he retracted his statement, saying the number was in fact ten.[22]

The chief executioner, Darshan Singh, said that he has executed more than 850 people during his service from 1959 using the phrase: "I am going to send you to a better place than this. God bless you." This included 18 people on one day, using three ropes at a time. Singh also said that he has hanged seven people within 90 minutes.[23]

Foreign nationals[edit source | edit]

The people on death row include foreign nationals, many of whom were convicted of drug-related offences. These inmates come from a diverse range of countries, including the United States, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. Figures released by the Singapore government show that between 1993 and 2003, 36% of those executed were foreigners, including some residents in Singapore (half of Singapore residents are foreigners).[24]

Legislation[edit source | edit]

Under Section 316 of the Criminal Procedure Code:[25]

"When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he shall be hanged by the neck till he is dead but shall not state the place where nor the time when the sentence is to be carried out."

Hangings always take place at dawn on Friday and are by the long drop method developed in the United Kingdom by William Marwood. The executioner refers to the Official Table of Drops. The government have said that they:

"…had previously studied the different methods of execution and found no reason to change from the current method used, that is, by hanging."[26]

Neither persons under the age of 18 at the time of their offence nor pregnant women can be sentenced to death.

Capital cases are heard by a single judge in the High Court. After conviction and sentencing, the sentenced has one appeal to the Court of Appeal. If the appeal fails, the final recourse rests with the President, who has the power to grant clemency on the advice of the Cabinet. In exceptional cases since 2012, the Court of Appeal would be asked to review its previous decisions in concluded criminal appeals where it was necessary to correct a miscarriage of justice, most of which involved drug cases attracting death penalty. The exact number of successful appeals is unknown. In November 1995, one Poh Kay Keong had his conviction overturned after the court found his statement to a Central Narcotics Bureau officer was made under duress.[6] Successful clemency applications are thought to be even rarer. Since 1965, the President's clemency has been granted seven times.[27] The last clemency was in November 2018, when the teen who murdered the wife of Anthony Ler received clemency from President Halimah Yacob.[28]

In November 2012, capital punishment laws in Singapore were revised such that the mandatory death penalty for those convicted of drug trafficking or murder was lifted under certain specific conditions. Judges were empowered with the discretion to sentence such offenders to life imprisonment, which suggests the prisoner lives his entire natural life in jail with the possibility of appeal after 20 years.[29]

The condemned are given notice at least four days before execution. In the case of foreigners who have been sentenced to death, their families and diplomatic missions/embassies are given one to two weeks' notice.[24]

Amnesty International reports that death row inmates are housed in cells of roughly three square metres (32 square feet).[6] Walls make up three sides, while the fourth is vertical bars. They are equipped with a toilet, a sleeping mat, and a bucket for washing. Exercise is permitted twice a day for half an hour at a time.[24] Four days before the execution, the condemned is allowed to watch television or listen to the radio.[6] Special meals of their choice are also cooked, if within the prison budget. Visiting rights are increased from one 20 minute visit per week to a maximum of four hours each day,[24] though no physical contact is allowed with any visitors.[6]

Capital offences[edit source | edit]

In addition to the Penal Code, there are four Acts of Parliament that prescribe death as punishment for offences. According to a Singaporean civil rights group, the Think Centre, 70% of hangings are for drug-related offences.[30] In 2017, all 8 hangings were for drug offences that year, and 11 of 13 in 2018.[16]

Penal Code[edit source | edit]

Under the Penal Code,[31] the commission of the following offences may result in the death penalty:

  • Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the government (§121)
  • Offences against the president's person (in other words, treason) (§121A)
  • Piracy that endangers life (§130B) (mandatory)
  • Genocide resulting in death (§130E) (mandatory)
  • Abetting of mutiny (§132)
  • Perjury that results in the execution of an innocent person (§194)
  • Murder (§302) (mandatory)
  • Abetting the suicide of a person under the age of 18 or an "insane" person (§305)
  • Attempted murder by a prisoner serving a life sentence (§307 (2)) (mandatory)
  • Kidnapping in order to commit murder (§364)
  • Robbery committed by five or more people that results in the death of a person (§396)

Since the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2007,[32] Singapore no longer allows for the death penalty for rape nor mutiny.

Arms Offences Act[edit source | edit]

The Arms Offences Act under Singapore law regulates criminal offences dealing with firearms and weapons.[33] Any person who uses or attempts to use arms (Section 4) can face execution, as well as any person who uses or attempts to use arms to commit scheduled offences (Section 4A). These scheduled offences are being a member of an unlawful assembly; rioting; certain offences against the person; abduction or kidnapping; extortion; burglary; robbery; preventing or resisting arrest; vandalism; mischief. Any person who is an accomplice (Section 5) to a person convicted of arms use during a scheduled offence can likewise be executed.

Trafficking in arms (Section 6) is a capital offence in Singapore. Under the Arms Offences Act, trafficking is defined as being in unlawful possession of more than two firearms.

Misuse of Drugs Act[edit source | edit]

The Singapore embarkation card contains a warning to visitors about the death penalty for drug trafficking. Warning signs can also be found at the Johor-Singapore Causeway and other border entries.

Under Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act,[34][35] any person importing, exporting, or found in possession of more than the following quantities of drugs receives a mandatory death sentence:

  • 1200 grams of opium and containing more than 30 grams of morphine (§5 and §7, (2)(b));
  • 30 grams of morphine (§5 and §7, (3)(b));
  • 15 grams of diamorphine (heroin) (diamo (§5 and §7, (4)(b));
  • 30 grams of cocaine (§5 and §7, (5)(b));
  • 500 grams of cannabis (§5 and §7, (6)(b));
  • 1000 grams of cannabis mixture (§5 and §7, (7)(b));
  • 200 grams of cannabis resin (§5 and §7, (8)(b));
  • 250 grams of methamphetamine (§5 and §7, (9)(b)).

Death sentences are also mandatory for any person caught manufacturing :

  • Morphine, or any salt of morphine, ester of morphine or salt of ester of morphine (§6, (2));
  • Diamorphine (heroin) or any salt of diamorphine (§6, (3));
  • Cocaine or any salt of cocaine (§6, (4));
  • Methamphetamine (§6, (5)).

Under the Act:

any person who is proved to have had in his possession or custody or under his control —

  1. anything containing a controlled drug;
  2. the keys of anything containing a controlled drug;
  3. the keys of any place or premises or any part thereof in which a controlled drug is found; or
  4. a document of title relating to a controlled drug or any other document intended for the delivery of a controlled drug,

shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have had that drug in his possession.

Furthermore, any person who has a controlled drug in his possession shall be presumed to have known the nature of that drug.[citation needed]

The majority of executions in Singapore are for drug offences. Since 2010, 23 prisoners have been executed for drug offences, while only 5 have been executed for other offences, such as murder. Death penalty supporters, such as the blogger Benjamin Chang, claim that Singapore has one of the lowest prevalence of drug abuse worldwide: he claims, for instance, that over two decades, the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 in 2011.[36] The validity of these figures is disputed by other Singaporeans, such as the Singaporean drugs counsellor Tony Tan.[37] The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime notes that Singapore remains a transit destination for drug traffickers in Asia, drug seizures continue to increase and heroin drug use within Singapore is continuing to rise.[38]

Internal Security Act[edit source | edit]

The preamble of the Internal Security Act states that it is an Act to "provide for the internal security of Singapore, preventive detention, the prevention of subversion, the suppression of organised violence against persons and property in specified areas of Singapore, and for matters incidental thereto."[39] The President of Singapore has the power to designate certain security areas. Any person caught in the possession or with someone in possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives in a security area can be punished by death.

Kidnapping Act[edit source | edit]

The terms of the Kidnapping Act designate abduction, wrongful restraint or wrongful confinement for ransom as capital offences.[40]

Public debate[edit source | edit]

Public debate in the Singaporean news media on the death penalty is almost non-existent, although the topic does occasionally get discussed in the midst of major, well-known criminal cases. Efforts to garner public opinion on the issue are rare, although it has been suggested that the population is influenced by a traditional Chinese view which held that harsh punishment deters crime and helps maintain social peace and harmony.[41] In October 2007, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee said in Parliament that "Certain of us may hold the view that the death penalty should be abolished. But in a survey done two years ago, reported in The Straits Times, 95% of Singaporeans feel that the death penalty should stay. This is something which has helped us to be safe and secure all these years and it is only reserved for a very few select offences."[4]

Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, a former opposition Member of Parliament, was reportedly only given a few minutes to speak in Parliament on the issue before his comments were rebutted by Ho Peng Kee.[6][42]

Few other opposition Members of Parliament would bring up the issue, which may be reflective of a population generally indifferent to the matter.

Before the hanging of Shanmugam Murugesu, a three-hour vigil was held on 6 May 2005. The organisers of the event at the Furama Hotel said it was the first such public gathering organised solely by members of the public against the death penalty in Singapore. Murugesu had been arrested after being caught in possession of six packets containing just over 1 kilograms of cannabis after returning from Malaysia. He admitted knowledge of one of the packets, which contained 300 grams, but not the other five.[43][44] The event went unreported on the partially state-owned media and the police shut down an open microphone session just as the first person began to speak.[43][45]

After the hanging of Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian from Melbourne, on 2 December 2005, Sister Susan Chia, province leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Singapore, declared that "The death penalty is cruel, inhumane and it violates the right to life." Chia and several other nuns comforted Nguyen's mother two weeks before his execution for heroin trafficking.[46]

Singapore's death penalty laws have drawn comments in the media. For example, science fiction author William Gibson, while a journalist, wrote a travel piece on Singapore that he sarcastically titled Disneyland with the Death Penalty.[47]

In 2010 British author Alan Shadrake published his book Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, which was critical of the Singapore judicial system.[48] Shadrake was arrested whilst promoting the book in Singapore and later sentenced to six weeks in prison for contempt of court. He is also charged with criminal defamation. The case attracted worldwide attention, putting the Singapore legal system in the spotlight.[49][50] Shadrake apologised to the court if he had offended the sensitivities of the judiciary and did not mean to undermine the judges or the judiciary, but stood by his book, apart from one small mistake.[51]

My so-called apology was to merely point out that my book was sub-titled Singapore Justice in the Dock - NOT Singapore Judiciary in the Dock. I did not 'apologise' at all and welcomed the prison sentence which drew even more attention to the real issues. The many cases I exposed where various judges sentenced some accused to death despite dubious, suspect evidence concocted by the police and their informers while others with powerful countries behind them had their charges inexplicably reduced to a non-hanging offence. But Judge Loh completely ignored the evidence I produced in Once a Jolly Hangman even though he claimed to have read it from cover to cover. This proved again that the judiciary is not independent from the executive - a fact which the International Bar Association ably pointed out in its 2008 report on Singapore - and that the judiciary has to do the government's bidding when it suits them.

The judge, Quentin Loh, dismissed his apology as "nothing more than a tactical ploy in court to obtain a reduced sentence".[52] Shadrake's conviction for scandalising the court was upheld by the Court of Appeal.[53]

Law Society review[edit source | edit]

In December 2005, the Law Society revealed that it has set up a committee, named Review Committee on Capital Punishment, to examine capital punishment in the country. The President of the Society, Senior Counsel Philip Jeyaretnam, said that the main focus of the review was on issues regarding administering the death penalty such as whether it should be mandatory. A report of the review would be submitted to the Ministry of Law.[54] On 6 November 2006, they were invited to give its views on proposed amendments to the Penal Code to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In their report, issued on 30 March 2007, they argued against the mandatory death penalty:

The death penalty should be discretionary for the offences where the death sentence is mandatory - murder, drug trafficking, firearms offences and sedition - a position similar to that for the offence of kidnapping. There are strong arguments for changing the mandatory nature of capital punishment in Singapore. Judges should be given the discretion to impose the death penalty only where deemed appropriate.[55]

Singapore government's response[edit source | edit]

The Singapore government states that the death penalty is only used in the most serious of crimes, sending, they say, a strong message to potential offenders. They point out that in 1994 and 1999 the United Nations General Assembly failed to adopt resolutions calling for a moratorium on the death penalty worldwide, as a majority of countries opposed such a move.

Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations wrote a letter to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in 2001 which stated:

"…the death penalty is primarily a criminal justice issue, and therefore is a question for the sovereign jurisdiction of each country […] the right to life is not the only right, and […] it is the duty of societies and governments to decide how to balance competing rights against each other."[6]

In January 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a response to Amnesty International's report, "Singapore: The death penalty - A hidden toll of executions". It defended Singapore's policy to retain the death penalty, predicating its arguments on, amongst others, the following grounds:[24]

  • There is no international consensus on whether the death penalty should be abolished.
  • Each country has the sovereign right to decide on its own judicial system, taking into account its own circumstances.
  • The death penalty has been effective in keeping Singapore one of the safest places in the world to work and live in.
  • The application of the death penalty is only reserved for "very serious crimes".

The Ministry of Home Affairs also refuted Amnesty International's claims of the majority of the executed being foreigners, and that it was "mostly the poor, least educated, and vulnerable people who are executed." The Ministry stated: "Singaporeans, and not foreigners, were the majority of those executed... Of those executed from 1993 to 2003, 95% were above 21 years of age, and 80% had received formal education. About 80% of those who had been sentenced to capital punishment had employment before their convictions".[24]

Following the hanging of Van Tuong Nguyen in 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated the government's position, stating that "The evil inflicted on thousands of people with drug trafficking demands that we must tackle the source by punishing the traffickers rather than trying to pick up the pieces afterwards... It's a law which is approved of by Singapore's inhabitants and which allows us to reduce the drug problem."[56]

Prior to the United Nations General Assembly's voting on a moratorium on the death penalty in November 2007, Singapore's ambassador Vanu Gopala Menon said, "My delegation would like to remind this committee that capital punishment is not prohibited under international law. Yet it is clear that the sponsors of this draft resolution have decided that there can only be one view on capital punishment, and that only one set of choices should be respected... [the death penalty] is an important component of the administration of law and our justice system, and is imposed only for the most serious crimes and serves as a deterrent. We have proper legal safeguards in place to prevent any miscarriage of justice."[57]

Impact on official debate and discussion in the United States[edit source | edit]

In 2012, a couple of American elected officials and office-seekers have suggested that Singapore's success in combating drug abuse should be examined as a model for the United States. Michael Bloomberg, a former Mayor of New York City, said that the United States could learn a thing or two from nations like Singapore when it came to drug trafficking, noting that "executing a handful of people saves thousands and thousands of lives."[58] The last execution in New York took place in 1963. Several courts have ruled that the death penalty violates the New York Constitution (see People v. LaValle). In 2007, the state of New York abolished the death penalty. 21 states, plus Washington D.C., have abolished the death penalty, with the most recent being New Hampshire in 2019. However, certain states, such as Texas, still regularly execute prisoners for aggravated murder.

Even when an American politician mentions capital punishment in Singapore, the application of the death penalty in the United States is limited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution to only aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults. For example, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich repeated his longstanding advocacy for Singaporean methods in the United States's War on Drugs during campaign interviews and speeches.[59][60]

Notable cases[edit source | edit]

Murder[edit source | edit]

  • Mohammed Ali Johari, sentenced to death for the drowning of his step-daughter, in December 2008.[61]
  • Anthony Ler, sentenced to death for the contract killing of his wife, on 13 December 2002 [62]
  • Usman bin Haji Muhammad Ali and Harun Thahir, two Indonesian marines sentenced to death in 1968 for the MacDonald House bombing which killed three people.
  • Adrian Lim, Tan Mui Choo, and Hoe Kah Hong, sentenced to death for murdering a nine-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy in 1981. The three were hanged in 1988. See Toa Payoh ritual murders for details on the case.
  • Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino domestic worker executed in 1995 for murdering another Filipino domestic worker and a four-year-old boy. Her execution severely strained relations between Singapore and the Philippines and caused many Filipinos to vent their frustration at their own government and the Singaporean government over the helplessness, abuse, and mental stresses that many Filipino overseas workers face around the world.
  • John Martin Scripps, a British spree killer hanged in April 1996 for murdering three tourists. He was the first Briton to be executed in Singapore since the country gained independence in 1965.
  • Took Leng How, a Malaysian-born vegetable packer hanged in 2006 for murdering Huang Na, an eight-year-old girl from China. Took's appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed, and a clemency petition submitted by his relatives to President S. R. Nathan was also rejected. See Murder of Huang Na for details on the case.
  • Leong Siew Chor, convicted in May 2006 for strangling a Chinese national Liu Hongmei, chopping up her body and dumping the body parts into the Kallang River.[63] He was hanged in November 2007.[64]
  • Tan Chor Jin, nicknamed "One Eyed Dragon" by the Singapore media, sentenced to death in May 2007 for the shooting and murder of Lim Hock Soon at his house. Tan represented himself in court without a lawyer initially, but later tasked veteran criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan with his defence. In the end, he asked the judge to give him the death sentence[65] and was hanged in January 2009.[66]
  • 31-year-old dance hostess Mimi Wong Weng Siu and 37-year-old sweeper Sim Woh Kum were convicted of murder of a Mrs. Watanabe and sentenced to death on 7 December 1970. Wong became the first woman to receive the capital punishment from a Singapore court.[67]
  • Sunny Ang, hanged on 6 February 1967 for murdering 22 year old Jenny Cheok.[68]
  • Michael Garing, the second Malaysian executed on 22 March 2019 in the city-state for murder of construction worker, Shanmuganathan Dillidurai during armed robbery since May 2010.[69][70]

Drug trafficking[edit source | edit]

  • Johannes van Damme, a Dutch engineer hanged on 23 September 1994. He was the first European to be executed in Singapore since the country gained independence in 1965.
  • Tong Ching-man, Lam Cheuk-wang, and Poon Yuen-chung, three Hong Kong women hanged on 21 April 1995. Tong and Poon were both 18 years old when they were caught with heroin in their possession at Changi Airport in 1988 and 1991 respectively.[71]
  • Angel Mou Pui-peng, a Macau-born Hong Kong woman hanged on 6 January 1995. A single mother, she was 25 at the time of her execution.[72][73]
  • Vignes Mourthi, Malaysian hanged on 26 September 2003.[74] Executed for trafficking 27.65g of heroin.
  • Shanmugam Murugesu, hanged in May 2005. Before his execution, around 120 people attended a three-hour vigil held for him in Furama Hotel. An earlier petition for clemency was rejected by President S. R. Nathan.[75]
  • Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian hanged in December 2005 for drug trafficking. A plea for clemency from the Australian government was rejected by the Singapore authorities.
  • Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, a Nigerian hanged in January 2007. Pleas for clemency from Amnesty International, the United Nations, and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo were rejected by President S. R. Nathan.
  • Muhammad Ridzuan Md Ali, executed on 19 May 2017.[76] His appeals were all thrown out.
  • Prabagaran Srivijayan, a Malaysian hanged on 14 July 2017.[77] Convicted of importing 22.24g of heroin
  • Billy Agbozo, a Ghanaian hanged on 9 March 2018. Convicted of trafficking 1.63 kg of methamphetamine.[78]
  • Prabu Pathmanathan, a Malaysian executed on 26 October 2018, at Changi Prison for trafficking in 227.82g of heroin. His last words were "don't get involved in drugs." In Singapore, prisoners who are about to be executed are permitted to have a photograph of themselves. His execution was condemned by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, complaining of the barbaric methods Singapore is using to execute its prisoners.[79]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "para 68 UNODC.org (page 18)" (PDF).
  2. "The Death Penalty in Singapore". www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  3. "Kho Jabing executed at 3.30pm, first execution in Singapore not carried out at dawn of Friday". The Online Citizen. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ho, Peng Kee, Singapore Parliamentary Reports, 11th Parliament, Session 1, Volume 83, 23 October 2007.
  5. Chen, Sharon (14 November 2012). "Singapore Amends Death Penalty Law to Exempt Some Offences". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "Singapore: The death penalty - A hidden toll of executions" (PDF). Amnesty International. 14 January 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2007. Amnesty International recognizes the need to combat drug trafficking, and the harm that illicit drugs can cause. However there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters would-be traffickers more effectively than other punishments; Amnesty International is gravely concerned that such presumptions erode the right to a fair trial, increasing the risk that an innocent person may be executed, particularly as the law provides for a mandatory death sentence; Amnesty International opposes the death penalty worldwide in all cases without exception; Relatives have informed Amnesty International that prisoners under sentence of death are kept in strict isolation in individual cells measuring approximately three square meters. The cells are thought to have walls on three sides, with bars on the remaining side. Cells are sparse, furnished only with a toilet and a mat for sleeping, but no bedding. Inmates are allowed the use of a bucket for washing; They may receive one 20-minute visit per week in a special area where they are separated from visitors by a thick pane of glass and have to communicate via a telephone. About four days before the execution date, as a special concession, prisoners are permitted to watch television or listen to the radio and are given meals of their choice, within the prison’s budget. They are also allowed extra visits from relatives but no physical contact is permitted at any time before the execution; In July 2001 then parliamentarian and prominent human rights campaigner, J.B. Jeyaretnam, called for a parliamentary debate about the case of a drug user who was facing execution, urging the Cabinet to consider various aspects of the case during examination of his clemency appeal. J.B. Jeyaretnam was given just a few minutes to speak before his arguments were rebutted by the Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)". www.mha.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Prisons Annual Report 2011 Part 4" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2012.
  9. "Singapore court rejects death-row Malaysian's appeal". According to official figures, there were four executions in 2011, two of them for drug-related offences
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Massive leap backwards as Singapore resumes executions". www.amnesty.org.
  11. Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'fetchLanguageName' (string expected, got nil).
  12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'fetchLanguageName' (string expected, got nil).
  14. "Singaporean drug trafficker executed at Changi Prison for heroin offence". The Straits Times. 19 May 2017.
  15. Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'fetchLanguageName' (string expected, got nil).
  16. 16.0 16.1 https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ACT5079552018ENGLISH.PDF
  17. Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'fetchLanguageName' (string expected, got nil).
  18. Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'fetchLanguageName' (string expected, got nil).
  19. "Executions worldwide this month". www.capitalpunishmentuk.org.
  20. "Death Penalty Worldwide". www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org.
  21. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Amnesty-Death-Sentences-and-Executions-2019.pdf
  22. "More people executed in Singapore". The Age. Melbourne. AFP. 25 September 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  23. Shadrake, Alan (28 October 2005). "Nguyen executioner revealed". The Australian. Surry Hills, NSW, 2010, Australia: News Limited. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2007. Mr Singh joined the British colonial prison service in the mid-1950s after arriving from Malaysia. When the long-established British hangman Mr Seymour retired, Singh, then 27, volunteered for the job. He was attracted by the bonus payment for executions. Mr Singh is credited with being the only executioner in the world to single-handedly hang 18 men in one day -- three at a time. They had been convicted of murdering four prison officers during a riot on the penal island of Pulau Senang in 1963. He also hanged seven condemned men within 90 minutes a few years later. They had been convicted in what became known as the "gold bars murders", in which a merchant and two employees were killed during a robbery. One of the most controversial executions in his career was the 1991 hanging of a young Filipina maid, Flor Contemplacion, who was convicted of the murder of a co-worker, Delia Maga, and her four-year-old son, on what many believed was shaky evidence. He carries out the executions wearing simple casual clothes, often just a T-shirt, shorts, sports shoes and knee-length socks. To mark his 500th hanging four years ago, four of his former colleagues turned up at his home to celebrate the event with a couple of bottles of Dom Perignon. Mr Singh boasts that he has never botched an execution. "Mr Seymour taught him just how long the drop should be according to weight and height and exactly where the knot should be placed at the back of the neck," his colleague said. "Death has always come instantaneously and painlessly. In that split second, at precisely 6am, it's all over."
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 "The Singapore Government's Response To Amnesty International's Report "Singapore - The Death Penalty: A Hidden Toll Of Executions"". Ministry of Home Affairs. 30 January 2004. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-30. Contrary to AI's claims, Singaporeans, not foreigners, were the majority of those executed in Singapore. From 1993 to 2003, 64% of those executed were Singaporeans. In the last five years, 73% executed were Singaporeans. Given that one in four residents in Singapore is a foreigner, it is not only false but mischievous to allege that a significant proportion of prisoners executed were foreigners; Although family members are not with the inmate at the moment of execution, they are informed four days before the executions (for foreigners, the families and embassy will be informed earlier, usually seven to fourteen days) and allowed daily visits lasting up to four hours for each visit during these four days. The execution is carried out in the presence of a Prison medical doctor. Upon request, a priest or a religious minister is allowed to be present, to pray for the person to be executed; Our prison conditions are spartan but adequate. Visiting Justices, who are prominent members of the community, conduct regular unannounced visits to the prison institutions to make sure that prisoners, including those on death row, are not ill-treated. It is not true that prisoners are not allowed to exercise. All prisoners, including condemned prisoners, are entitled to their daily exercises. In fact, there are two exercise yards dedicated for this use. They are normally allowed to exercise twice a day, half an hour each time, one or two at a time.
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  33. Cap. 14, 1998 Rev. Ed.
  34. Cap. 185, 2001 Rev. Ed.
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