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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro