Tuesday, July 25, 2023

In response to news that two executions for drug-related offences have been set to take place on Wednesday 26 July and Friday 28 July, Amnesty International’s death penalty expert Chiara Sangiorgio said:   

“It is unconscionable that authorities in Singapore continue to cruelly pursue more executions in the name of drug control. There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect or that it has any impact on the use and availability of drugs. As countries around the world do away with the death penalty and embrace drug policy reform, Singapore’s authorities are doing neither.   

“The only message that these executions send is that the government of Singapore is willing to once again defy international safeguards on the use of the death penalty.   

“It is past time Singapore reverse course; consign the death penalty to the history books; and take a serious look at offering more effective protection from drug-related harm, such as by expanding access to health and social services, including for people who use drugs and addressing the underlying socio-economic causes that lead people to engage in the drug trade.  

“We renew our call on governments, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to increase their pressure on Singapore so that all executions end and drug control policies become rooted in the promotion and protection of human rights.  

“This must start today, with an unequivocal condemnation of the set executions this week of two people convicted of drug trafficking.”


According to the Transformative Justice Collective, a Singaporean Malay man, who was sentenced to death in 2018 after being found guilty of trafficking around 50 grams of diamorphine (heroin) has had his execution set for Wednesday 26 July.   

Singaporean national Saridewi Djamani was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty in 2018. Her execution has been reportedly set for Friday 28 July, which would be the first execution of a woman in Singapore in around 20 years. She was found guilty of possession of around 30 grams of diamorphine (heroin) for the purposes of trafficking.   

Both the UNODC and the INCB – two UN bodies in charge of developing and monitoring drug policies – have condemned the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences and have urged governments to move towards abolition.   

More than two-thirds of countries all over the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Singapore’s close neighbour Malaysia has observed an official moratorium on executions since 2018 and has recently repealed the mandatory death penalty, including for drug-related offences.  

Singapore is one of only four countries, alongside China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where executions for drug-related offences were confirmed in 2022. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, in all cases and under any circumstances.   

Tags: Singapore, Human Rights, Death penalty.