In a significant turn of events, Singapore is set to carry out its first execution in 19 years by hanging Saridewi Djamani, a Singaporean woman convicted of trafficking heroin back in 2018. The news comes on the heels of another drug trafficking execution that took place on Wednesday, where Mohammed Aziz Hussain was hanged at Singapore’s Changi Prison. These recent developments have sparked renewed calls for reevaluating capital punishment practices in the country.
Capital Punishment Controversy Rekindled
Singapore, known for its strict stance on drug-related offenses, had abstained from carrying out any executions for nearly two decades. However, the recent execution of Mohammed Aziz Hussain and the impending hanging of Saridewi Djamani have brought the controversial issue of capital punishment back into the spotlight.
The Case of Mohammed Aziz Hussain
Mohammed Aziz Hussain, a 56-year-old citizen of Singapore, met a grim fate when he was hanged after being convicted of trafficking approximately 50 grams (1.75 ounces) of heroin in 2018. The execution took place at Changi Prison, signaling the authorities’ willingness to enforce the harshest penalties for drug-related crimes.
The Pending Execution of Saridewi Djamani
Saridewi Djamani, a Singaporean woman, faces a similar fate as Mohammed Aziz Hussain. Having been found guilty of trafficking heroin in 2018, she is now set to be hanged on Friday. This execution marks a significant event in Singapore’s legal history, given the lengthy gap since the last capital punishment.
Advocacy for Abolishing Capital Punishment
The Transformative Justice Collective, an activist group dedicated to advocating for the abolishment of the death penalty in Singapore, has voiced its concerns over the recent executions. Kirsten Han, a prominent member of the group, has been actively pushing for a halt to capital punishment, emphasizing the need for alternative approaches to address drug-related offenses.
Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Capital Punishment
As Singapore prepares to execute its first woman in nearly two decades, it prompts an essential conversation about the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent to crime. Proponents argue that such severe penalties discourage criminal activities, especially drug trafficking. However, opponents contend that the death penalty does not necessarily lead to reduced crime rates and call for more humane and rehabilitative justice systems.
Rising Voices for Criminal Justice Reform
In the wake of these executions, more voices are joining the chorus for comprehensive criminal justice reform in Singapore. These advocates believe that focusing on rehabilitation, education, and community-based programs can address the root causes of drug-related offenses and lead to a more just and compassionate society.
Looking Ahead: The Need for Deliberation
The upcoming execution of Saridewi Djamani serves as a stark reminder of the gravity of capital punishment. As Singaporeans and the international community grapple with this issue, it is crucial to engage in thoughtful and thorough discussions about the future of the country’s legal system. Examining the effectiveness, ethics, and implications of capital punishment will help chart a path forward that aligns with Singapore’s values and aspirations for a fair and equitable society.