SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE — Singapore on Wednesday hanged a local man convicted of drug trafficking, officials said, two days before the scheduled execution of the first woman prisoner in the city-state in nearly 20 years.
Mohd Aziz bin Hussain, convicted and sentenced to death in 2017 for trafficking “not less than 49.98 grams” (1.76 ounces) of heroin, was executed at Changi Prison, the Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement.
The 57-year-old was the 14th convict sent to the gallows since the government resumed executions in March 2022 after a two-year pause during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hussain’s previous appeals against his conviction and sentence had been dismissed, and a petition for presidential clemency was also denied.
A woman drug convict, 45-year-old Saridewi Djamani, is scheduled to be hanged on Friday, according to the local rights group Transformative Justice Collective (TJC).
She was sentenced to death in 2018 for trafficking around 30 grams of heroin.
If carried out, Djamani would be the first woman executed in Singapore since 2004, when 36-year-old hairdresser Yen May Woen was hanged for drug trafficking, according to TJC activist Kokila Annamalai.
Singapore has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws — trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis or over 15 grams of heroin can result in the death penalty.
Rights watchdog Amnesty International on Tuesday urged Singapore to halt the executions, saying there was no evidence the death penalty acted as a deterrent to crime.
“It is unconscionable that authorities in Singapore continue to cruelly pursue more executions in the name of drug control,” Amnesty death penalty expert Chiara Sangiorgio said in a statement.
Singapore, however, insists that the death penalty has helped make it one of Asia’s safest countries.
Among those hanged since last year was Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, whose execution sparked a global outcry, including from the United Nations and British tycoon Richard Branson, because he was deemed to have a mental disability.