ICJ: Singapore must be transparent in implementation of executions

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) condemned Singapore’s execution of two people on last Friday (18 November)

Nigerian national Chijoke Stephen Obioha and Malaysian national Devendran A/L Supramaniam were convicted of drugs-related charges: Chijoke Stephen Obioha was convicted of possession and trafficking of drugs on 30 December 2008, while Devandran was convicted of importing 83.36 grams of diamorphine into Singapore on 29 July 2014.

The ICJ noted with concern that the Singapore government’s lack of transparency with regards to its implementation of executions. It does not update the list of names and number of death row inmates and often does not give death row inmates and their families adequate notice prior to executions.

“The very short notice does not allow the death row inmates and their families enough time to file last minute appeals,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia director. “Singapore authorities, by hastening executions, hinder measures that could save the lives of those on death row, and also try to minimize public outcry over the executions.”

The ICJ opposes capital punishment in all cases without exception and considers the death penalty a violation of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The ICJ calls on the Singapore government to publicly release the number of death row inmates awaiting execution, and the number and names of individuals who have been executed in 2016.

ICJ also calls on the Singapore government to immediately establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with a view towards its abolition.

Earlier in 2011, Singapore established a moratorium on the carrying out of death penalty as part of its review process of the mandatory death penalty. However, it came to an end after three years, after it executed two death row prisoners, Tang Hai Liang, 36, and Foong Chee Peng, 48 on 18 July 2014.