DRUG TRAFFICKING IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH IN SINGAPORE. PHOTO: MMEEMIL VIA GETTY
The accused claimed that he was threatened and coerced by narcotics officers into admitting to drug trafficking.
Singapore’s highest court on Tuesday dismissed a man’s appeal against his conviction and death sentence for allegedly bringing cannabis weighing at least 2.2 pounds from neighboring Malaysia into the city-state, Channel News Asia reported.
Omar Yacob Bamadhaj, 41, was arrested in 2018 during a routine stop by police at a border checkpoint when officers said three bundles of the drug were found in his car. He was convicted and in February sentenced to hanging. His father, who was also in the car, did not know about the drugs, a court heard, and was not charged with any crime.
Singapore has a zero-tolerance policy for illicit drugs and has hanged hundreds of people – including dozens of foreign nationals – for drug offenses over recent decades.
Human rights groups have long criticized the death penalty for its cruelty and the risk of wrongful execution and questioned its supposed public safety benefits. However, public opinion in Singapore remains largely indifferent to the practice, with many in favor of it believing that it deters drug traffickers and keeps crime rates low.
Amnesty International has condemned the “callous decision.”
“By dismissing Omar Yacob Bamadhaj’s appeal, the Singapore authorities have violated international safeguards and sentenced yet another person convicted of drug trafficking to death by hanging,” said Chiara Sangiorgio, the group’s death penalty advisor.
Published: October 14, 2021
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