Hundreds of Singaporeans gathered yesterday on protest grounds to fight for death row inmates, three days after the first execution in over two years was carried out.
Transformative Justice Collective, which seeks to abolish the death penalty in Singapore’s justice system, last night thanked the 400-strong crowd for showing its support with placards, listening to speeches and singing along in Hong Lim Park.
“Thank you everyone who was at Hong Lim Park today! There were over 400 of us there demanding that we #AbolishDeathPenalty everywhere. Thank you all for your placards, your chanting, your singing, and your solidarity. ✊🏼,” wrote the group, which organized the rally.
The collective scheduled the two-hour protest, which began at 5pm, to reform the “prison system determined to kill” and to fight for the current 50 death row inmates in Singapore, some of whom do not have any legal recourse to appeal their sentences and face execution at any time, the collective added.
“The death penalty’s got to go. No justice no peace. No more blood on our hands,” a placard at the protest read.
On Thursday, a 68-year-old Malaysia, Abdul Kahar Othman, was hanged on a 2013 heroin conviction, the first execution in over two years since the pandemic hit.
Most death row inmates are there for drug-related offenses.
One recent high-profile case involved Nagaenthran “Nagen” Dharmalingam, also of Malaysia, who was sentenced to be hanged last year on Nov. 10 for importing over 40 grams of heroin in 2010. Singapore rules capital punishment mandatory for trafficking 15 grams of heroin and up.
An appeal was dismissed last month by the court, which said arguments that he was not fit for execution due to his mental disabilities was “baseless.” They also did not grant an independent psychiatric assessment for him.
The rally, which was also streamed live online, included speeches and music and poetry performances by members of the public.
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