Image of a noose

Singapore: Stop imminent hangings, end wave of executions

Singaporean authorities must halt the imminent executions of Prabu N Pathmanathan, a 31-year-old Malaysian national, and of another man whose name has not been released, Amnesty International said today. Both prisoners were sentenced to the death penalty on drug-related convictions in separate cases.

Pathmanathan’s family were informed last week of his scheduled execution for Friday 26 October. He was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty after he was found in possession of diamorphine. Another man is also reported to be executed this Friday, also on drug convictions.

News of these planned executions follow the reported execution of another man today, and that of three men, on 5 October, also for drug-related offences.

This cruel and irreversible punishment has no place in any society, as more than two-thirds of the world’s countries have come to recognize.

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International's SIngapore Researcher

The use of the death penalty and its imposition for drug-related offences contravene international law and standards

“Singapore authorities must immediately halt plans to kill these men and put a stop to this recent wave of callous executions”, said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Singapore Researcher.

“It is time for Singapore to re-establish its moratorium on the death penalty and follow the government of Malaysia’s example, who have suspended all executions and announced plans to abolish the use of this cruel punishment for all crimes.”

“The fact Prabu Pathmanathan’s family in Malaysia received news of his impending execution –  all while their own government have just resolved to end this abhorrent practice – makes this case even more troubling”, she added. “This cruel and irreversible punishment has no place in any society, as more than two-thirds of the world’s countries have come to recognize.”

Amnesty International is aware of six executions carried out in Singapore this year, all for drug offences. The authorities of Singapore carried out eight executions in 2017, also for drug offences, but details of all the executions were not publicly available.


Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

As of today, 106 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and 142 in total are abolitionist in law or practice. In 2017 the death penalty was imposed or implemented for drug-related crime in 15 countries, but Amnesty International recorded executions for drug-related offences in only four – China (which classifies figures as a state secret), Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.