Singapore executed a prisoner on Wednesday after being found guilty of conspiring to smuggle a kilo of marijuana, despite condemnation from human rights groups who said the case was flawed.
A spokesperson for the Singapore Prisons Service confirmed to “Agence France Presse” that “46-year-old Singaporean citizen Tangaraju Sobia was hanged today at the Changi prison complex.”
Tangaraju Sobia’s execution came against a call by the United Nations’ Singapore Human Rights Office to “urgently reconsider” the execution and a call for British businessman Richard Branson to halt the execution.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the evidence in Tangaraju’s case was “far from clear because he never actually touched that cannabis, he was interrogated by the police without a lawyer and was not allowed to talk in a Tamil. translator”. want.”
Branson, a member of the Geneva-based International Committee on Drug Policy, wrote on his blog on Monday: “Actually, Tangaraju was nowhere near these drugs at the time of his arrest. It is a bottom-up case that depends on the results.”
Expressing hope that the authorities will reconsider the case, he said, “Killing those at the bottom of the illicit drug supply chain … is not effective in preventing international trade worth hundreds of billion dollars every year.”
Singaporean officials confirmed that Tangaraju had gone through the necessary legal procedures and that “his guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt”, and the Home Office said that “the evidence clearly shows that he is the person who related to delivery”. drugs for the purpose of smuggling.”
On Tuesday, the ministry criticized Brunson, saying the billionaire had shown “disrespect to Singapore’s judges and our criminal justice system over such allegations”.
Tangaraju was convicted in 2017 of complicity in drug trafficking in an operation involving one kilogram of marijuana in Singapore, twice the amount that could have resulted in the death penalty.
He was sentenced to death in 2018 and the Supreme Court upheld his first degree sentence.
In March 2022, executions by hanging resumed in Singapore after an absence of more than two years. Last year, 11 people were killed, all convicted of drug crimes. The execution of one of these individuals was accompanied by an international reaction. According to his advocates, he suffers from mental retardation.
Marijuana trafficking has been decriminalized in many parts of the world, including neighboring Thailand, and human rights groups are trying to increase pressure on Singapore to abolish the death penalty.
Source: Arabic RT