international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
Convention on the Rights of the Child (made reservation to Art.37 which prohibits the application of the death penalty to minors under eighteen)
Capital crimes are: murder, treason, offences against the President, illegal possession of arms, kidnapping and causing an innocent person to be executed by bearing false witness.
On 7 July 2014, a Bill to amend the Radiation Protection Act was passed in Parliament allowing for the imposition of the death penalty for nuclear-related offences that cause harm or death. There are no nuclear facilities in Singapore at the moment, so this aspect of the Act prepares for future scenarios. It can also be used in a situation where an incident happens in the region but the resulting radiation affects Singapore.
Executions are carried out at dawn. Relatives are generally informed a week previous to the scheduled date. Official statistics on executions were unusually released.
On 6 October 2016, Government feedback agency Reach released a survey, which found that 80 per cent of Singapore residents felt the death penalty should be retained. A total of 1,160 residents were randomly selected for the survey, which was carried out through the phone. Only 10 per cent said the death penalty should be abolished and the remaining 10 per cent did not give a definitive answer or refused to answer. According to the survey, there is widespread general support for the death penalty system, with 57 per cent outrightly supporting death penalty and 80 per cent of residents generally supporting the notion. In addition, 23 per cent said "it depends" and 13 per cent opposed it. Those with higher education qualifications were more in support for the death penalty. Among those with a university and postgraduate qualification, 68 per cent supported the death penalty, while the number of polytechnic and and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates who support the death penalty is 62 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. Among those with primary school qualifications and below, 54 per cent support the death penalty. A majority, or 82 per cent of those polled, agreed that the death penalty is an important deterrent that has helped to keep Singapore safe from serious crimes. The survey also found that 81 per cent of those who generally supported the death penalty voted for the death penalty to be used as a punishment for murder; this was 78 per cent for using a firearm to commit a serious offence; 74 per cent for arms trafficking and 67 per cent for drug trafficking.
In 2016, Singapore hanged 4 people, two for murder and two for drug trafficking, according to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) annual report. At least 7 new death sentences were imposed.
The war on drugs
Singapore has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and its customs forms warn arriving travellers of “death for drug traffickers” in no uncertain terms.
Anyone aged 18 or over who is convicted of carrying more than 15 grams (0.5 ounce) of heroin, or 30 grams (1.1 ounces) of cocaine, 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of cannabis or 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of methamphetamines faces mandatory execution by hanging. Moreover, in 2001 Singapore’s highest court ruled that the act of helping dealers pack heroin into smaller sachets for sale is as bad as selling the drug. So anyone who does the packing faces a death sentence.
In November 2012, following the periodic general review started in July 2011, Singapore’s Parliament passed relevant amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code abolishing the mandatory death sentences in some drug trafficking and murder cases, and making the process of appeal automatic in cases where the accused has been given the death sentence. Under the revised Penal Code, the mandatory death penalty will only apply to cases where killings were intentional. In addition, the mandatory death penalty will continue to apply in most cases, particularly for those who manufacture or traffic in drugs and those who fund, organise or abet drug trafficking. Otherwise, the court will decide if the accused should be given the death sentence or life imprisonment. The court may also order caning in cases where life imprisonment is ordered. All existing cases of 32 inmates on death row, whose appeals had been dealt with previously, would be considered for re-sentencing under the new law.
All existing cases, if eligible, would be considered for re-sentencing under the new law. From 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2016, eighteen drug offenders have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment under the new regime. Top secret death
In 2016, Singapore hanged four people, two for murder and two for drug trafficking, according to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) annual report. Also in 2015, executions were 4. At least seven new death sentences were imposed for drug-related crimes in 2016.
The SPS does provide the number of executions each year in its annual report, but other important information, such as the number of individuals on death row, and their names and background (i.e. gender, nationality and socio/economic background) are not publicly disclosed.
The Singapore government had released a press statement on the executions of Muhammad bin Kadar in April 2015, but it did not make any announcements on the other three executed in 2015. “We Believe in Second Chances” found out about two of these executions in December 2015 through death row inmate Kho Jabing, later executed in May 2016.
In 2014, Singapore hanged two men for drug trafficking, in the first executions carried out in the city-state. In July 2011, executions were suspended as part of a general review of the drug situation and the death penalty that led to a new legislation in November 2012. The last executions had taken place in 2011, when two people were put to death for murder and two for drug trafficking. Singapore executed at least 436 people between 1991 and 2016 (as of 30 June), most of them for drug-related crimes. As f 31 December 2015, twenty-three people were on death row in the city-state, according to the government. United Nations
On 27 January 2016, Singapore was reviewed under the UPR of the UN Human Rights Council. In response to questions on the death penalty, the Government said no civilised society glorifies in the taking of lives. Singapore applies capital punishment to deter the most serious crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.
On 19 December 2016, Singapore voted against the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly. At the Third Committee, Singapore introduced an emendment to the text of the Resolution aiming at reaffirming the sovereign right of all countries to develop their own legal systems, including determining appropriate legal penalties, in accordance with their international law obligations which was approved with 76 votes for, 72 against and 26 abstentions.