Singapore Executes Two Drug Criminals

Singapore announced on Thursday the execution of two men for drug trafficking, despite cries for mercy from activists for human rights who worry about “a new wave” of hangings in the Asian city-state known for its tough drug laws.

The executions, in an email from the Singapore Prison Service, published on CNN, were conducted on Thursday at Changi Prison Complex for Singaporean Norasharee bin Gous, 48, and Malaysian Kalwant Singh, 31.

Norasharee and Singh’s executions, which take the total number of death sentences carried out by the nation this year to four, came just two months after Singapore controversially executed a man with an intellectual disability for drug trafficking.

Authorities in Singapore said on Tuesday that Norasharee and Singh, who were both found guilty of narcotics trafficking and given the mandatory death sentence, had exhausted all of their legal challenges.

The Central Narcotics Bureau has reported that both men received death sentences in June 2016.

Norasharee was found guilty of encouraging a man to traffic 120.9 grams of heroin, while Singh had been found guilty of both possessing and trafficking 60.15 grams (2.1 ounces) of the illegal substance.

According to Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, trafficking a particular amount of drugs, such as 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of heroin, results in a mandatory death sentence.

However, Singapore’s drug law was recently changed to allow a guilty individual to avoid the death penalty under certain conditions.

Both Norasharee and Singh had been on death row for the past six years while numerous campaigners called for clemency. 

Amnesty International Malaysia, in a statement earlier this week, said the two executions “appear to be part of a new wave” of hangings in Singapore. 

Emerlynne Gil, the deputy regional director for research at Amnesty International, urged Singapore on Thursday to put an urgent stop to executions. 

Gil claimed that Singapore has executed individuals found guilty of drug-related offenses once more in defiance of international law and callously in spite of public protest.

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