death penalty singapore ©Mohd RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images

Singapore: Stop resumption of hangings after two years of no executions

Responding to reports that the Singapore government plans to resume executions as early as Wednesday, 16 February, Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Singapore researcher, said: 

“Following more than two years of no executions in 2020 and 2021, it is appalling that the Singapore government is planning to resume this cruel practice imminently. Executing individuals who have been sentenced for drug related offences and to the mandatory death penalty is in breach of restrictions under international law. 

“It is high time for Singapore to re-establish a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards full abolition. The global trend towards abolition continues unabated, with the majority of the world’s governments having abolished the cruel punishment in law or in practice. Among other examples, Singapore’s neighbour  Malaysia has observed an official moratorium on executions since July 2018 and is poised to consider alternatives to the death penalty as soon as the end of the month.” 

Background 

The last known execution in Singapore was carried out in November 2019. Amnesty International received information that at least two executions are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 16 February. 

More than two-thirds of countries all over the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Singapore’s close neighbour Malaysia has observed an official moratorium on executions since 2018 and is considering fresh reforms as soon as this month. 

In a separate case at the end of 2021, Singapore authorities set the execution of Malaysian national Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam for drug related offences.  

Several medical experts have found him to have borderline intellectual functioning and cognitive deficits, which might have impacted his ability to assess risks and his accounts of the circumstances of the offence.  

Amid international outcry, his last minute appeal hearing was postponed several times, and is currently set to take place in March. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, in all cases and under any circumstances.