Singapore — A Malaysian human rights group warned of a potential “execution binge” following the multiple rejected petitions for pardon in the previous month.
Lawyers for Liberty, a law reform and rights group, claimed that up to 10 prisoners in Singapore had their clemency petitions rejected in the month of July.
The group said that Singapore is “preparing for an execution binge,” a move they described as “in total disregard of international legal norms and decent world opinion.”
In 2018, Malaysia’s parliament voted to remove the death penalty as a mandatory punishment for drug offences.
Singapore reported 13 executions in the past year, 11 of which were drug-related offences.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam attributed the high number of executions last year partly because executions in 2017 were put on hold as parliament was reviewing the death penalty.
Despite the strict laws and punishments, drug trafficking is on the rise in Singapore according to Minister Shanmugam.
“We have seen an increase in the number of people coming in from countries trying to traffic,” Shanmugam was quoted in an interview with Reuters.
He stated that Singapore will not soften its stance on drug trafficking, claiming that there is still “very strong support for the government’s current position.”
Shanmugam cited the “significant” increase in criminal incidents as well as medical and hospitalisation costs in places with legalized marijuana.
“Leave aside the economic costs, the social costs in terms of lives and the trauma and families has been very significant.”
Amnesty International reported that there are around 40 prisoners on death row in Singapore. The government is mum regarding inquiries about executions. -/TISG