Singapore Has Hanged Cannabis Smuggler

Extremely sad but inevitable news

Singapore has hanged a prisoner for conspiracy to smuggle one kilogram of cannabis, authorities said, ignoring international protests and concerns that he lacked full access to a lawyer or interpreter.

The United Nations Human Rights Office had called for Singapore to “urgently reconsider” the hanging and British tycoon Richard Branson had urged the city state halt it.

Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, was sentenced to death in 2018 after a judge found he was the owner of a phone number used to coordinate an attempt to traffic the cannabis.

He was executed at Changi prison complex on Wednesday, Singapore Prisons Service told Agence France-Presse.

Campaigners had cited various concerns over the handling of his case, including claims he was questioned by police without legal counsel, and claims made in court that Suppiah, a Tamil speaker, was questioned by police in English without an interpreter.

In November last year, when Tangaraju filed an application for his case to be reviewed after an unsuccessful appeal, he represented himself in court. Activists say he is one of a growing number of death row prisoners doing so, because of difficulties in accessing lawyers.

On Tuesday night, Tangaraju’s family filmed a video appeal, asking the public to continue calling on Singapore’s president, Halimah Yacob, to stop his execution. They would not give up hope, said his niece. “They will kill him at 6am, we’ll keep the hope until 5.55am,” she said. “My uncle is a very good man, he didn’t have education or money but he worked very hard to look after us.”

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