The sentenced person is a 37-year-old man from Malaysia, Punithan Genasan. He is seen by the judges as the brain behind the smuggling of 28.5 grams of heroin.
According to a spokesman for the court, it is the first time in the country that the death penalty has been pronounced in this way.
Death penalty for drug trafficking
Singapore, like many other Asian countries, is cracking down on drug criminals. Many of them are hanged, including the Dutch businessman Johannes van Damme in 1994.
According to human rights organization Amnesty International, Singapore is one of the four countries in the world that face the death penalty for drug trafficking.
The convict was in prison, his lawyer, prosecutors and judges in other locations. The lawyer also sees no problem. “The judge was heard clearly, no new arguments or facts were presented. We have no complaints, ”said Peter Fernando. He will discuss the verdict with his client and expects it to appeal.
Human rights organizations do not have a good word about how things are going. “That Singapore has the death penalty is cruel and inhumane anyway. Using techniques like Zoom only makes it worse,” said Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch.
“It is shocking that the prosecutors and the judges are so insensitive that they fail to recognize that a suspect has the right to see his accusers in court,” said Robertson. “While the world is now trying to save lives, adhering to the death penalty is even more repugnant,” said Amnesty International’s Chiara Sangiogio.
Singapore is not the first country to issue death sentences at a distance. This already happened in Nigeria earlier this month. That would have been the first time ever.