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A drug dealer was sentenced to death in Singapore. The procedure was carried out via a zoom conference so that no one was infected with the corona virus.
- A drug dealer was sentenced to death by a Singapore court.
- The process took place via zoom.
- Human rights organizations criticize the court’s approach.
A Singapore court has sentenced a 37-year-old drug dealer to death. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, since the beginning of April, all legal proceedings have been carried out in the home office, Punithan Genasan was sentenced to execution by hanging in a zoom video conference. As The Guardian reports, it is the first time that the Singapore judiciary has virtually imposed a death penalty.
The Malaysian was arrested in 2011 for smuggling 28.5 kilos of heroin. Genasan said no drugs were found, but he is said to have hired two couriers to transport the heroin from Malaysia to Singapore. Genasan pleaded innocence in the trial.
Human rights organization criticizes procedures
Human rights activists heartlessly described the decision to inform the accused of his punishment via zoom. It shows once again that Singapore continues to violate international law and standards by imposing the death penalty for drug trafficking, said Chiara Sangiorgio of Human Rights Watch’s Asia (HRW).
In addition, virtual conviction raises serious concerns, said Phil Robertson, director of HRW. Why the judiciary in Singapore was suddenly in such a hurry to close this case with Zoom was one of the many questions. Especially since the majority of court hearings in Singapore were adjourned until at least June 1.
Robertson fears that this could lead to false convictions in this case and others. Genasan’s lawyer, Peter Fernando, said his client was considering an appeal.
Singapore has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs. In 2018, 13 people were executed.