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Singapore Conducts First State Execution Since 2019

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Singapore Conducts First State Execution Since 2019

Singapore has executed a drug trafficker by hanging on Wednesday in the city-state’s first execution since 2019. The execution took place, despite appeals for clemency from the United Nations and human rights groups.

It was the first execution in what activists fear may be a looming wave of more. The hanging came just a day after a mentally disabled Malaysian man lost his final appeal over his death sentence.

A leading Singaporean campaigner against capital punishment said Abdul Kahar Othman was executed early Wednesday. He was sentenced to death in early 2015.

In 2019, the last year Singapore carried out executions, four people were executed by hanging, according to the city-state’s prison service.

Although the wealthy, socially conservative country has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, rights groups continue to call for the death penalty to be abolished.

Nevertheless, authorities say that capital punishment remains an effective deterrent against drug trafficking and has helped keep Singapore one of the safest cities in the world.

Singapore has strict drug laws

Singapore’s Transformative Justice Collective, a group that campaigns against the death penalty, reports that Abdul Kahar, 68, was convicted of trafficking heroin in 2013 and sentenced to death by hanging in 2015.

According to the group, he was first jailed at the age of 18 and spent the rest of his life in and out of prison for drug-related offenses.

Earlier this week, the UN human rights office urged authorities not to carry out the hanging.

Meanwhile, Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, a Malaysian convicted on charges of heroin trafficking, maybe hanged next week after losing his last appeal.

Among those criticizing his case are the European Union and British billionaire Richard Branson.

Additionally, three other men sentenced to death for drugs offenses earlier this month had their appeals denied.

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