SINGAPORE: Singapore is set to execute a woman for the first time in over 20 years on Friday. Saridewi Djamani, convicted in 2018 for trafficking heroin, received the mandatory death sentence for her trafficking conviction, as per The Transformative Justice Collective (TJC) monitors death row cases.
In 2004, Yen May Woen, a 36-year-old hairdresser, was hanged for drug trafficking. If executed, activists believe she could become the first woman to die in Singapore since that time. Mohd Aziz bin Hussain, a 56-year-old Malay man from Singapore, was sentenced to death for trafficking 50g of heroin in 2018.
Singapore’s strict drug regulations have led to condemnation worldwide for its execution of drug-related inmates.
The government claims the death penalty ensures city safety, deters drug-related crime, and has public support. According to research by Amnesty International, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran were among the few nations that executed people for drug-related offences last year. Although the number of deaths is unknown, it stated that Vietnam is also likely to have done so
Chiara Sangiorgio, an expert on the death sentence for Amnesty International, asserts that there is no proof that the death penalty discourages drug use or availability. Singapore’s government is not reforming drug laws or abolishing the death sentence, unlike other nations, Chiara added.
Inmates are increasingly representing themselves through appeals, and activists claim the most vulnerable individuals are those on death row.
As per TJC, Hussain claimed that his remarks were inadmissible due to the officer’s promise of a reduced charge. The judge refuted these allegations and concluded that all statements were provided voluntarily.
TJC reported that Saridewi, suffering from drug withdrawal, claimed she could not provide reliable information to the police. The high court judge determined that she had mild to moderate methamphetamine withdrawal during the statement-taking period, which did not affect her ability to deliver statements.
Since the government started hanging prisoners again in Singapore following a two-year halt because of the COVID-19 outbreak, at least 13 people have been executed by hanging so far.