Singapore set to execute first woman in nearly 20 years, rights groups say

Singapore is set to carry out its first execution of a woman in nearly 20 years for drug trafficking, amid fresh calls from human rights groups to end capital punishment.

Recent executions: On Wednesday, Singapore hanged Mohammed Aziz Hussain for drug trafficking, and is set to execute Saridewi Djamani, a Singaporean woman, on Friday.
* This will be the first execution of a woman in Singapore since 2004, when Yen May Woen was hanged, also for drug trafficking.
* If it proceeds, Djamani’s execution will be the 15th for drug offenses since Singapore resumed hangings in March 2022, an average of one execution per month.

Human rights groups’ outcry: Activists argue that Singapore’s harsh drug policies, which include capital punishment, are misguided and ineffective at curbing drug trafficking.
* These laws end up punishing low-level traffickers and couriers from marginalized groups rather than disrupting large drug cartels, according to a joint statement from Transformative Justice Collective, Amnesty International and seven other groups.
* Notable figures like British business mogul Richard Branson and organizations like the United Nations have urged Singapore to stop executions for drug-related offenses.

Legal context: Singapore’s mandatory death penalty applies to anyone convicted of trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis and 15 grams of heroin.
* Singapore’s authorities maintain that capital punishment is crucial to combating both drug demand and supply, and that all prisoners are given due process of law.

Global trends: The groups highlight that Singapore is not aligned with the global trend of moving away from capital punishment.
* Nearby countries such as Thailand have legalized cannabis, and Malaysia ended its mandatory death penalty for serious crimes this year.
* These groups are calling for Singapore to halt all executions and focus on effective, humane measures to tackle drug trafficking.

View original article on NPR

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