The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore issued a statement in which it said, Forty-five-year-old Singaporean, Saridewi Djamani, was put to death on July 28 in Changi Prison. Djamani was in 2018 sentenced to the mandatory death penalty after being convicted of possessing 31 grams of heroin. Saridewi is the first woman to be hanged in Singapore since hairdresser Yen May Woen, 36, in 2004, also convicted of drug trafficking.
The CNB in its statement said: “She was accorded full due process under the law and was represented by legal counsel throughout the process.” It added that Singapore laws permit the death penalty for trafficking anything above 15 grams of heroin.
Singapore known to have harshest drug laws in the world
Singapore maintains some of the world’s harshest drug laws and its government remains adamant that capital punishment works to deter drug traffickers and maintain public safety. Under the law, anyone caught trafficking, importing or exporting certain quantities of illegal drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine or cannabis products will receive the mandatory death sentence. The country has hanged 15 people since resuming executions for drug convictions last year. This includes foreigners and an intellectually disabled man.
The CNB said: “Capital punishment is used only for the most serious crimes, such as the trafficking of significant quantities of drugs which cause very serious harm, not just to individual drug abusers, but also to their families and the wider society.”
Outrage by civil society over hanging of Saridewi
Founder of the non-profit group ‘Responsible Business Initiative for Justice’ Celia Ouellette, said: “The government of Singapore violates human belief in redemption and the capacity for rehabilitation by insisting instead on taking drastic and irreversible action.”
“Singapore risks not only its international reputation but its financial future as well. It’s time for it to abolish capital punishment once and for all,” she said Secretary general of France-based NGO ‘International Federation for Human Rights’ Adilur Rahman Khan called Saridewi’s execution a “grim milestone” and renewed calls for the Singaporean government to stop executions.
(With inputs from ANI)