Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singaporeans protest against death penalty



Singaporeans protest against death penalty

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Anti-death penalty protesters taking part in a rare public demonstration in Singapore today. AFP

Singaporeans protest against death penalty

Hundreds of protesters in tightly controlled Singapore staged a rare demonstration against the death penalty on Sunday as fears grow the city-state is set to carry out a wave of hangings.

Authorities the previous week conducted the country’s first execution since 2019 when they hanged a drug trafficker. Several other death row convicts recently had appeals rejected.

Organisers said about 400 people joined the demonstration at “Speakers’ Corner” in a downtown park, the only place in the city-state where protests are allowed without prior police approval.

They held signs reading “Capital punishment does not make us safer”, and “Don’t kill in our names”, and chanted slogans against the death penalty.

“Capital Punishment is a brutal system that makes brutes of us all,” Kirsten Han, a prominent local activist, said in an address to the crowd.

“Instead of pushing us to address inequalities and exploitative and oppressive systems that leave people marginalised and unsupported, it makes us the worst version of ourselves.”

Protests are unusual in Singapore, which frequently faces criticism for curbing civil liberties.

Aside from in “Speakers’ Corner”, it is illegal for even one person to stage a demonstration without a police permit.

Abdul Kahar Othman, a 68-year-old Singaporean drug trafficker, was hanged Wednesday despite appeals for clemency from the United Nations and rights groups.

Next in line to be executed could be Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, a mentally disabled Malaysian convicted of heroin trafficking who lost his final appeal the previous week.

His case has attracted a storm of criticism, including from the European Union and British billionaire Richard Branson.

Three other men sentenced to death for drugs offences had their appeals rejected earlier in March.

Prosperous but socially conservative Singapore has some of the world’s toughest drugs laws, and has faced mounting calls from rights groups to abandon the death penalty.

Authorities insist that capital punishment remains an effective deterrent against drug trafficking and has helped to keep the city-state one of the safest places in Asia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a