An Indian-origin man was on Wednesday executed in Singapore after he was convicted in a drug trafficking case despite several pleas from his relatives and activists for clemency, a representative of his family said.
The 46-year-old man Tangaraju Suppiah had been convicted for abetting the trafficking of more than 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cannabis in 2013, around twice the threshold for the death penalty in the city-state known for its tough stance against narcotics.
A Singapore-based rights activist who represented the family, Kokila Annamalai confirmed that Suppiah had been executed by hanging after the president of the country rejected pleas for clemency on the eve of the execution. The government in Singapore did not respond immediately to requests for comments.
Meanwhile, British billionaire Richard Branson who is a vocal challenger of capital punishment had said earlier that the verdict against Tangaraju Suppiah did not meet the standards for criminal conviction as he was not near the drugs when he had been arrested.
In response to Branson’s statement, the Singapore government said that he was peddling falsehoods and disrespecting the justice system of the country. The courts in Singapore spent more than three years examining the case and Branson’s claim was “patently untrue”, the government further added.
Moreover, the United Nations Office for Human Rights had also called for Singapore to not proceed with the execution and to “adopt a formal moratorium on executions for drug-related offences”.
It may be noted that Singapore has executed 11 people in the last year and maintains that the death penalty is an effective measure to persuade people against drugs and that most of its people support the policy.