Press briefing notesOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Singapore: Imminent Execution
25 April 2023
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani
There are reports that Singapore is poised to conduct a further execution, the 12th since March 2022. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges the Government to urgently reconsider this execution and to take steps to fully respect the most fundamental of human rights – the right to life.
The UN Human Rights Office has received information concerning the imminent hanging of Tangaraju Suppiah for allegedly using his phone to coordinate trafficking of cannabis. We have concerns around due process and respect for fair trial guarantees. The UN Human Rights Office calls on the authorities not to proceed with his execution.
Imposing the death penalty for drug offences is incompatible with international norms and standards. Countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty may only impose it for the “most serious crimes”, which is interpreted as crimes of extreme gravity involving intentional killing.
The death penalty is still being used in a small number of countries, largely because of the myth that it deters crime. Increasing evidence, however, shows it is ineffective as a deterrent. We call on the Singapore Government to adopt a formal moratorium on executions for drug-related offences and to ensure the right to a fair trial for all defendants in line with its international obligations.
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