Singapore to execute a woman for first time in 20 years

Singapore is all set to execute a woman for the first time in 20 years for trafficking 30 grams of heroin, groups said Tuesday, while urging the executions be halted. Local rights organisation Transformative Justice Collective (TJC) said a 45-year-old woman convict who TJC identified as Saridewi Djamani is set to be sent to the gallows on Friday. 

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She was sentenced to death in 2018 for trafficking around 30 grams of heroin.

If executed, she would be the first woman to be hanged in Singapore since 2004 when 36-year-old hairdresser Yen May Woen was hanged for drug trafficking, said TJC activist Kokila Annamalai. 

Mohd Aziz bin Hussain, a 56-year-old Singaporean Malay man, has been told he will be executed on Wednesday, according to the TJC. 

He was sentenced to death in 2018 after being found guilty of trafficking approximately 50g of heroin, the group said.

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The group added that the two prisoners are Singaporeans and their families have received notices setting the dates of their executions.

However, the TJC’s claim of upcoming two executions has not been yet confirmed by prison officials.

Singapore imposes the death penalty for certain crimes, including murder and some forms of kidnapping.

It also has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws: trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis and 15 grams of heroin can result in the death penalty.

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Rights watchdog Amnesty International today urged Singapore to halt the impending executions. Amnesty’s death penalty expert Chiara Sangiorgio said in a statement: “It is unconscionable that authorities in Singapore continue to cruelly pursue more executions in the name of drug control.

“There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect or that it has any impact on the use and availability of drugs. As countries around the world do away with the death penalty and embrace drug policy reform, Singapore’s authorities are doing neither.”

A spokesman for the Singapore Prison Service said: “Singaporean Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, had his capital sentence carried out today, April 26, at Changi Prison Complex.”

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