Singapore executes first woman in nearly 20 years over 31 grams of heroin | Drugs News


Saridewi Binte Djamani hanged despite outcry from rights groups including Amnesty International.

Singapore has hanged a 45-year-old citizen who was caught with 31 grams of heroin, the first time the city-state has executed a woman in nearly 20 years.

Saridewi Binte Djamani was hanged on Friday after being convicted of trafficking “not less than 30.72 grams” of the drug in 2018, the Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement.

The bureau said Djamani had been accorded “full due process under the law” and had access to legal counsel throughout the process.

Djamani’s execution proceeded despite protests from human rights groups including Amnesty International, which argues Singapore’s use of capital punishment for drug offences violates international law and does little to deter drug use.

“We call on the international community, particularly States who have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, to help halt this inhumane, ineffective and discriminatory practice in Singapore,” Amnesty International said in a statement earlier this week.

Transformative Justice Collective, a local advocacy group, had condemned authorities for their “bloodthirsty streak” ahead of the execution.

In April, a group of United Nations experts described the rate of executions in Singapore for drug offences as “highly alarming” and called for an immediate moratorium after claims a 46-year-old ethnic Tamil citizen was hanged despite being denied adequate interpretation during police interrogations.

Singapore’s government, which tightly controls public protest and the media, has defended its use of the death penalty as a deterrent against drug trafficking and cited surveys showing most citizens to support the law.

Singapore has hanged 15 people, including foreigners, for drug-related offences since March 2022, when it resumed executions after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, Mohd Aziz bin Hussain, 57, was hanged for trafficking about 50 grams of heroin.

The city-state last executed a woman in 2004, when Yen May Woen, a 36-year-old hairdresser, was hanged for drug trafficking.

Despite a reputation as a well-run business hub, Singapore’s ultra-strict laws place it in the company of a handful of authoritarian states, including China and North Korea, that impose the death penalty for drug offences.

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