UN Human Rights Agency ‘regrets’ executions in Singapore

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“We regret the hanging of two men in Singapore today and are deeply disturbed by the planned execution of two others on August 5,” OHCHR spokesman Liz Throssell said in a statement.

drug crimes

The two detainees, one Malaysian and one Singaporean, were hanged after being convicted of drug trafficking in May 2015 and their appeals were rejected.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahim bin Shapiee and Ong Seow Ping, two other men, were convicted in 2018 of drug possession for the purpose of human trafficking.

Despite appeals against their verdict, both are expected to be executed on Friday, August 5.

Minorities disproportionately condemned

The execution of Malaysian Singaporean national Nazeri Bin Lajim last week raised serious concerns about the discriminatory nature of death sentences in Singapore.

He was arrested for trafficking 33 grams of diamorphine, of which he possessed mainly for personal use.

UN independent experts noted that a disproportionate number of those on death row for drug-related crimes were minorities, generally from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, leaving Mr. Lajim was more likely to be sentenced to death.

‘Stop’ planned executions

In her statement, Ms Throssell urged Singaporean authorities to “stop all planned executions”, including those of Abdul Rahim bin Shapiee and Ong Seow Ping.

She also called on the government to “end the use of mandatory death sentences for drug offences, commute all death sentences to prison terms and immediately impose an immediate moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.

The Human Rights Council underlines that the death penalty “contradicts the right to life” and the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

To date, more than 170 states have abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty, both in law and in practice, and the UN is urging Singapore to follow in their footsteps.



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