Monday, January 19, 2004
Singapore Defends Itself Against Amnesty International Charges
Yesterday Vice Squad noted Amnesty International's report on executions in Singapore, the majority of which are carried out for drug-crime convictions. (Vice Squad failed to link to the actual AI report, however, an oversight that is remedied here.) Friend of Vice Squad Pak Shun Ng brings our attention to this article in Straits Times Interactive (registration required), noting that the Singapore government is defending its actions. A government spokesperson denied that the justice system in Singapore is shrouded in secrecy, and more generally, suggested that safeguards for defendants met international norms. Further, the spokesperson is quoted in the linked article pointing to the benefits of the Singaporean policy: 'Most Singaporeans know that our tough but fair system of criminal justice makes Singapore one of the safest places in the world to live and to work in.'
Singapore is not the only country that executes drug traffickers. Indeed, other Asian nations are said to be increasing their use of the death penalty. China leads the world in the absolute number of executions; from the Taipei Times: "In one particular death frenzy, Amnesty said at least 150 accused drug criminals were executed across China in June, 2002 to mark the UN' International Drugs Day."