Singapore carries out death sentence for alleged involvement in cannabis smuggling

A man has been executed in Singapore for allegedly setting up a cannabis shipment. Tangaraju Suppiah was hanged, tweeted activist Kirsten Han of the Transformative Justice Collective group, which campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty in the city-state.

The 46-year-old’s surviving relatives had been handed the death certificate, she said. Tangaraju’s family had unsuccessfully asked for his pardon, arguing that he had been convicted on the basis of weak evidence. Protests by activists also went unheard.

In 2018, Tangaraju had been sentenced to death for allegedly assisting in the smuggling of one kilogram of cannabis. Under Singapore’s criminal law, trafficking more than 500 grams can carry the death penalty.

While Tangaraju had not been caught with cannabis, cell phone numbers traced back to him had revealed him as the person responsible for coordinating the drug shipment, prosecutors said. Tangaraju, meanwhile, had insisted he was not the one who communicated with other suspects.

A request for a stay of execution had been filed earlier, but it was dismissed without a hearing. The UN had previously criticized the death sentence and called on authorities to halt the execution.

After a hiatus of more than two years, the island nation had resumed the execution of death sentences in March 2022. The execution was the first in six months and the twelfth in a year.