Cannabis Trafficking: Singapore Kills Man By Hanging

Singapore has hanged 46-year-old Tangaraju Suppiah who was found guilty in 2018 of trafficking more than 1kg (2.2 pounds) of cannabis, despite last-minute appeals for clemency from his family and activists.

His family said they had been given Tangaraju’s death certificate, anti-death penalty campaigner Kirsten Han wrote on Twitter.

A spokesperson for the country’s prison service told the AFP news agency that the sentence had been carried out at Changi prison in the island’s east.

Tangaraju Suppiah was sentenced to death in 2018 for abetting the attempted trafficking of just more than 1kg of cannabis. A judge found he was using a phone number that was communicating with traffickers attempting to smuggle the drugs into Singapore.

Tangaraju’s family and activists had argued the 46-year-old was not provided with adequate legal counsel and that he was denied access to a Tamil interpreter while being questioned by the police.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson deplored the execution and said the evidence against Tangaraju was “far from clear cut – since he never actually touched the marijuana in question, was questioned by police without a lawyer, and denied access to a Tamil interpreter when he asked for one”.

Amnesty International described the execution as “unlawful” and said that proceedings “violated international law and standards”.

The execution was the first in Singapore in six months after it carried out 11 death sentences last year.

An increasing number of Singaporeans have expressed concern about the use of the mandatory death penalty in drug cases with last year’s hanging of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam prompting rare protests in the tightly-controlled city-state.

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