Authorities in Singapore hanged two drug traffickers on Friday, bringing the number of inmates executed in the past four months to 10, despite international calls for the city-state to abolish the death penalty.
The series of hangings included the widely criticized execution of a cognitively impaired man in April after Singapore resumed executions in March after a more than two-year hiatus.
The Prisons Department said in a statement that Singaporeans Abdul Rahim Shapii, 45, and Ong Sow Ping, 49, were executed.
Shapii, a former ride-hailing service driver, was found guilty of trafficking 39.87 grams of pure heroin, Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said.
It says the appeals court rejected his request to stay the sentence.
ALSO READ: Singapore executes two more drug traffickers despite backlash
Ong was Shapia’s co-accused in the same case. He was convicted of trafficking 51.69 grams of heroin, according to CNB.
Both received “all due process of law and were represented by legal counsel throughout the trial,” CNB said.
Friday’s hangings brought to 10 inmates executed since March 30, when a Singaporean was sent to the gallows.
That hanging was followed in April by the execution of Malaysian national Nagaentran K. Dharmalingam, which sparked international outrage over concerns that he had “borderline intellectual functioning and co-occurring cognitive deficits,” according to human rights group Amnesty International.
Two of those convicted in Singapore were executed on July 7, and two more were hanged a few days later that month. The two men – a Singaporean and a Malaysian – were hanged on Tuesday.
“I’m worried there could be more this year, maybe after the National Day celebrations (August 9),” Khan told AFP.
The number of executions this year could surpass the 13 inmates hanged in 2018, she added.
Singapore has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws and insists the death penalty remains an effective deterrent against human trafficking, despite pressure from international rights groups to limit or abolish its use.
The CNB said the death penalty is part of Singapore’s “comprehensive harm prevention strategy”.
The United Nations says the death penalty is not an effective deterrent worldwide and is inconsistent with international human rights law, which allows the death penalty only for the most serious crimes.