A prisoner executed in Singapore for 1 kilo of marijuana

Singapore (BLAZETRENDS).- A Singaporean of Tamil origin, Tangaraju Suppiah, was hanged this Wednesday for being an accomplice in the trafficking of 1 kilogram of marijuana, in what has become the first execution on the island so far this year .

Tangaraju was executed around 6:00 in the morning local time (22:00 GMT) in the Changi island prison, as confirmed to BLAZETRENDS today by Kokila Annamalai, spokesperson for the NGO Transformative Justice Collective, which advocates for the repeal of capital punishment in the prosperous country in Southeast Asia.

Tangaraju’s case has attracted attention not only because it is a crime of attempted marijuana trafficking, the medicinal use of which is being legalized in more and more countries, including Thailand, but also because of the alleged irregularities in the process, denounced by his relatives and NGO.

“My uncle is a very good man. He had no education and no money, but he always worked hard to take care of us. To hang him is to murder an innocent man,” Tangaraju’s niece said in a video, in which she implored the Singapore government for mercy, posted on social media last night.

“weak” tests

Tangaraju, 46, was sentenced to death in 2017 for “accomplices in a conspiracy to traffic” 1 kilogram of marijuana from Malaysia to Singapore in 2013, although he and his lawyers have always maintained that he never saw or touched the drugs and that he was implicated by third parties for some telephone exchanges whose content was not presented at the trial either.

A marijuana user since adolescence, “Appu”, as his relatives called him, grew up in a humble family and spent his youth in and out of juvenile centers and jail.

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It was as a result of an arrest for failing to report to the police for a drug check while on probation that he was implicated in this case.

Despite the “weak evidence”, according to his relatives, the death sentence handed down in 2017 was endorsed by another court at the end of 2022, after the last possible appeal.

Singapore, zero tolerance for drugs

Organizations in favor of human rights have described this execution as “scandalous and unacceptable”.

Singapore has one of the most draconian drug laws in the world, and contemplates the death penalty for a minimum of 500 grams of marijuana trafficking, defending it as an “essential component” of its judicial system and a guarantee to curb consumption.

After two years without hangings due to the covid-19 pandemic, the prosperous island broke the record in 2022 by carrying out 11 executions of drug traffickers, including that of a prisoner with intellectual disabilities.

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