Listen to this article Singapore Executes Man For Trafficking Two Pounds Of Cannabis
On Wednesday, a 46-year-old Singaporean man, Tangaraju Suppiah, was executed in Changi Prison for trying to traffic 2.2 pounds of cannabis. The severity of the sentence has been criticized by rights groups and campaigners for being too harsh, especially at a time when other nations have adopted a more lenient approach towards drugs and capital punishment. Singapore has some of the world’s harshest drug laws, and the government maintains that capital punishment is a necessary deterrent.
Singapore’s Harsh Drug Laws
Singapore maintains some of the world’s strictest drug laws, which include capital punishment for drug trafficking. The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) is the primary legislation governing drugs in Singapore. The MDA stipulates that a person found guilty of trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cannabis is presumed to be trafficking, which carries a mandatory death penalty. However, the death penalty can be avoided if the accused cooperates with the authorities in disrupting drug activities.
Criticism of Singapore’s Drug Laws
Singapore’s approach to drugs and capital punishment has been criticized by various rights groups and campaigners. They argue that the use of capital punishment for drug offenses is a violation of international human rights law. Many critics have also pointed out that there is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty deters drug-related crimes. Furthermore, it has been argued that the strict drug laws disproportionately affect the poor and marginalized communities.
Tangaraju Suppiah’s Case
Tangaraju Suppiah’s conviction and death sentence were appealed by family members and rights groups, who argued that the evidence used to convict him was unsafe. Amnesty International noted that Tangaraju’s conviction relied mainly on statements from his police interrogation and the testimony of his two co-accused, one of whom had his charges dismissed. Tangaraju was sentenced to death in 2018 for “abetting the trafficking of more than one kilogram of cannabis.”
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