Singapore: First woman set to be executed in nearly 20 years

Press release
Jonathan Drake / GETTY IMAGES ASIAPAC / Getty Images via AFP

FIDH urges Singaporean authorities to immediately halt the imminent execution of two death row prisoners, including the first woman in almost 20 years.

Paris, 25 July 2023. Mohammed Aziz Hussain, a 56-year-old Singaporean man, and Saridewi Djamani, a 45-year-old Singaporean woman, are scheduled to be executed by hanging at Singapore’s Changi Prison on 26 and 28 July 2023, respectively. Both prisoners were found guilty of drug-related offences and given the execution notice one week before their scheduled execution.

“Singapore may reach another grim milestone by executing the first woman in nearly two decades. Singaporean authorities must immediately stop these blatant violations of the right to life in their obsessive enforcement of misguided drug policies,” said FIDH Secretary-General Adilur Rahman Khan.

Mr. Hussain was convicted of trafficking around 50g of heroin and sentenced to death by the High Court in 2018. Ms. Djamani was convicted of trafficking around 30g of heroin and sentenced to death by the High Court in 2018.

Since March 2022, 13 individuals - all of whom had been found guilty of drug-related offences - have been executed in Singapore. The last known execution of a woman in the city-state took place in 2004.

FIDH reiterates its condemnation of the Singaporean government’s ongoing imposition of the death penalty, in particular for offences that do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes”, which is set by Article 6(2) of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). United Nations (UN) jurisprudence has repeatedly and unequivocally stated that drug-related offenses do not meet such threshold. In addition, UN human rights experts have continued to denounce the Singaporean government’s ongoing use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.

FIDH also renews its calls on the Singaporean government to make progress towards the abolition of capital punishment for all crimes, including by: reinstating a moratorium on executions; commuting all death sentences; and signing and ratifying the ICCPR and the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

FIDH, a founding member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and a member of its Steering Committee, opposes the death penalty for all crimes and in all circumstances.

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