Singapore executes man for cannabis trafficking

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Singapore executed a 49-year-old man on Tuesday (26.07.2022) for trafficking cannabis after spending seven years in prison, marking the sixth execution in the small Asian city-state in the last four months.

The news was confirmed by activist Kokila Annamalai, who posted on her Twitter account that “we have confirmed that a 49-year-old Ethnic Malaysian Singaporean man has been executed today, July 26, in Changi prison, after being convicted of trafficking marijuana.”

While neighboring countries such as Thailand relax the cultivation and consumption of low-psychotropic cannabis, Singapore maintains one of the most severe anti-drug laws on the planet, contemplating the death penalty by hanging, with six executed for drug trafficking since last March.

Just four days ago, Singapore executed another man, Singaporean Nazeri Lajim, 64, with a long history of drug use and other crimes and who had been sentenced in 2017 for trafficking 960 grams of heroin.

Little is known at the moment about the last execution, as Singapore barely reveals information about the executions and it is the local NGOs that advocate against the death penalty that often learn about the hangings through the families of the inmates, who in this case have not yet spoken out, or from other prisoners.

These organizations, including transformative Justive Collective (TJC), have been warning for months that, due to a saturation on death row after two years without executions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore would accelerate the pace of hangings in 2022, an omen that has been fulfilled.

Since March 30, when a 68-year-old Singaporean was executed for drug trafficking, there have been five other executions, including that of an intellectually disabled prisoner hanged on April 27 amid strong criticism from the international community and human rights organizations.

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All of the prisoners executed this year have been convicted of drug trafficking and many are Malaysian nationals or ethnic Malay Singaporeans, leading some organizations to accuse the island authorities of racial discrimination. The island sets the minimum for capital punishment at 15 grams of heroin to import or export, and at 500 grams for cannabis.

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