Statement: Singapore Carries Out Second Execution for Drugs in a Month

Date: 27 April 2022

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LONDON, 27 April – Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was executed in Singapore today, despite international outcry and widespread condemnation from human rights activists, the Malaysian government, United Nations experts on human rights, the European Union and prominent personalities including businessmen Richard Branson and actor Stephen Fry. Nagaenthran, who was only 21 years old at the time of his arrest, had spent over a decade on death row for carrying the equivalent of approximately three tablespoons of diamorphine. He suffered from mental health challenges and had cognitive disabilities, both of which should have provided a moral and legal basis to stop his execution.

Singapore also plans to execute Datchinamurthy Kataiah, another Malaysian citizen convicted of drug offences, on Friday 29 April 2022. Three other people also remain at imminent risk of execution for drug-related offences in the country.

Naomi Burke-Shyne, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, said, “It is an outrage that the Government of Singapore has executed yet another person for drugs, in blatant violation of international law, and is planning on carrying out one more execution this week. This must stop.” She added, “Using the death penalty does not deter drug use or trafficking. All it does is make vulnerable people more vulnerable.”

Harm Reduction International monitors the 35 countries which retain the death penalty for drug offences; a minimum of 131 people were executed for drug offences around the world in 2021 – a shocking 336% increase from 2020. However, due to a severe lack of transparency, this figure likely represents only a fraction of all drug-related executions carried out.

© 2022 Harm Reduction International.

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