Singapore made headlines as it carried out its first execution of a woman in 19 years, igniting global debates on capital punishment for drug-related crimes. Despite growing international calls for change, the city-state proceeded with the hanging of Saridewi Djamani, a woman convicted of trafficking approximately 31 grams of heroin.
The Controversial Case of Saridewi Djamani:
The case of Saridewi Djamani, a 45-year-old woman, stirred significant controversy. 2018 she was sentenced to death for trafficking pure heroin, equivalent to about 370 individual doses. Her execution followed that of Mohammed Aziz Hussain, a Singaporean man executed just two days prior for a similar offense involving approximately 50 grams of heroin.
Global Activists Urge Change:
Human rights groups, international activists, and the United Nations have urged Singapore to reconsider its stance on capital punishment for drug offenses. They argue that evidence is mounting that such executions are ineffective as a deterrent and emphasize the need for more compassionate approaches to tackle drug-related issues.
Singapore’s Firm Stand on Capital Punishment:
Despite the global outcry, Singapore remains steadfast in its belief that capital punishment is a crucial deterrent in curbing drug demand and supply. The nation’s authorities maintain that executing drug traffickers serves as a warning to potential offenders, helping to protect society from the drug scourge.
The Plight of Low-Level Offenders:
Critics of Singapore’s approach to drug-related crimes highlight the plight of low-level traffickers and couriers, often recruited from marginalized backgrounds. They argue that such individuals should be given a chance for rehabilitation rather than facing the harshest penalty. This contrasts with the global trend of countries moving away from capital punishment.
A Call for Humanity:
In response to the latest execution and anticipation of another scheduled for next week, advocacy groups are condemning Singapore’s “bloodthirsty streak.” They are renewing their calls for an immediate moratorium on using the death penalty and seeking more humane ways to address drug offenses.
Singapore’s Unique Approach in a Changing Landscape:
As neighboring countries like Thailand legalize cannabis. Malaysia abolishes mandatory death penalties for serious crimes, and Singapore’s hardline stance on capital punishment for drug offenses raises questions about its role in the evolving global criminal justice landscape.
The recent execution of Saridewi Djamani has again brought Singapore’s capital punishment policies into the international spotlight. The heated debates surrounding this case underscore the ongoing struggle between the need for justice and the call for more compassionate approaches to addressing drug-related issues.