Singapore conducted its first execution of a woman in 19 years on Friday, marking its second hanging this week for drug trafficking. Saridewi Djamani, 45, was sentenced to death in 2018 for trafficking about 31 grams of diamorphine, or pure heroin. The Central Narcotics Bureau stated that the amount was sufficient to feed the addiction of about 370 abusers for a week.
Despite international calls for the city-state to cease capital punishment for drug-related crimes, Singapore has continued its stringent anti-drug policy. The execution of Djamani, who was not a courier, followed the mandatory death penalty for anyone convicted of trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin.
Djamani’s execution came two days after that of a Singaporean man, Mohammed Aziz Hussain, 56, for trafficking around 50 grams of heroin. Human rights groups, international activists, and the United Nations have urged Singapore to halt executions for drug offenses, citing increasing evidence that it is ineffective as a deterrent. However, Singapore authorities insist capital punishment is crucial to halting drug demand and supply.
The execution of Djamani, the first woman to be executed in Singapore since 2004, has drawn international attention and criticism. Activists have revealed that another execution is planned for next week, further fueling the debate on the city-state’s stringent anti-drug policy and its use of capital punishment.
Critics argue that Singapore’s harsh policy often punishes low-level traffickers and couriers, who are typically recruited from marginalized groups. They contend that Singapore is out of step with the global trend of more countries moving away from capital punishment. As the debate continues, the international community watches closely, awaiting the city-state’s next move.