Singapore has executed a woman, for the first time in almost 20 years, on Friday. Singaporean national Saridewi Djamani (45) was found guilty of trafficking 30g of heroin in 2018.
She was convicted of trafficking “not less than 30.72 grams” of heroin in 2018, said the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in a statement.
Djamani is the second drug convict executed this week. Fellow Singaporean Mohd Aziz bin Hussain (57) was executed on Wednesday for trafficking some 50g of heroin.
Singapore has hanged 15 -including foreigners – for drug-related offences since March 2022. This is when it resumed executions after a suspension during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singapore’s harsh anti-drug laws
Djamani’s execution proceeded despite protests from human rights groups, including Amnesty International. It argues that Singapore’s capital punishment for drug-related offences violates international law, and does not in fact deter drug use.
“There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect or that it has any impact on the use and availability of drugs,” Amnesty International’s Chiara Sangiorgio reportedly said.
“The only message that these executions send is that the government of Singapore is willing to once again defy international safeguards on the use of the death penalty,” she argued.
Singapore has some of the world’s harshest anti-drug laws.
“Singaporean authorities must immediately stop these blatant violations of the right to life in their obsessive enforcement of misguided drug policies,” said Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary-general of the International Federation of Human Rights, reports NPR.
‘The safest in the world’
Saridewi Djamani is the first woman to be hanged since hairdresser Yen May Woen (36) was executed in 2004.
“She was accorded full due process under the law and was represented by legal counsel throughout the process,” the CNB said. It further says that Singapore permits capital punishment for trafficking anything above 15g of heroin.
Authorities in Singapore argue that the strict laws help keep the country one of the safest in the world. Adding that capital punishment for drug offences has wide public support. However, anti-death penalty supporters protest this.
Amnesty International notes that Singapore is one of only four countries who deploy drug-related executions.