Singapore, Aug 2 (EFE).- Singapore authorities executed two prisoners convicted of drug trafficking on Tuesday, bringing the number of people hanged since the city-state resumed capital punishment at the end of March to eight.
The Central Narcotics Bureau said in a brief statement that those executed were two men: a 34-year-old Malaysian and a 46-year-old Singaporean. It did not provide further details, citing family privacy.
“The capital punishment is used only for the most serious crimes, such as the trafficking of significant quantities of drugs which cause very serious harm, not just to individual drug abusers, but also to their families and the wider society,” the authorities said to justify the measure.
International law restricts capital punishment to the “most serious crimes,” generally defined to include only intentional killing, Amnesty International has said.
Two other executions are expected to take place Friday.
Singapore has some of the world’s most draconian laws against drug use and trafficking, punishing in most cases with the death penalty, and carried out opaquely in Changi prison.
These latest executions take place a day after 24 prisoners on death row filed a collective suit against the government of Singapore and the Attorney General’s Office in which they claim that the city-state denies them access to justice.
The prisoners denounce, among other issues, the obstacles to hiring lawyers to defend them, due in part to high costs lawyers face when filing late-stage applications.
Activists in Singapore warn that the current number of prisoners on death row is leading to an acceleration of executions after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic.
Since March 30, when a 68-year-old Singaporean was executed for drug trafficking, there have been six other executions prior to Tuesday’s, including that of a prisoner with intellectual disabilities amid strong condemnation from the international community and human rights organizations.
All of the prisoners executed this year have been convicted of drug trafficking and many are of Malaysian nationality or Singaporeans of Malay ethnicity, prompting some organizations to accuse the authorities of racial discrimination. EFE