Singapore denies Malaysian legal group’s ‘preposterous’ claim of brutal hangings in Changi Prison

Singapore’s Home Affairs Ministry today refuted rights group Lawyers for Liberty’s recent allegations of Singapore officials using unlawful methods to carry out executions. — iStock.com pic via AFP
Singapore’s Home Affairs Ministry today refuted rights group Lawyers for Liberty’s recent allegations of Singapore officials using unlawful methods to carry out executions. — iStock.com pic via AFP

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia’s rights group Lawyers for Liberty’s (LFL) recent allegations of Singapore officials using unlawful methods to carry out executions on prisoners is “untrue”, Singapore’s Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) said today.

The Singapore MHA said LFL’s January 16 statement had “untrue, baseless and preposterous allegations about the use of unlawful methods in judicial executions conducted in Changi Prison”.

The MHA also said LFL’s claims that prison officers were given “special training to carry out the brutal execution method” and allegations of the Singapore government’s approval of such unlawful methods and alleged cover-up measures are all “entirely unfounded”.

It said “no effort is spared to ensure that all judicial executions in Singapore are carried out in strict compliance with the law”.

“All judicial executions are conducted in the presence of the Superintendent of the Prison and a medical doctor, among others. 

“The law also requires a Coroner (who is a Judicial Officer of the State Courts) to conduct an inquiry within 24 hours of the execution to satisfy himself that the execution was carried out duly and properly,” the Singapore MHA said in a statement on its official website.

“For the record, the rope used for judicial executions has never broken before, and prison officers certainly do not receive any “special training to carry out the brutal execution method” as alleged. Any acts such as those described in the LFL statement would have been thoroughly investigated and dealt with,” it added.

The ministry claimed LFL had been publishing “sensational and untrue stories” to seek attention in the hopes of getting Malaysian prisoners — who have been convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Singapore — off the death penalty.

The Singapore ministry said drug traffickers in Singapore must be prepared to face the consequences as they “harm and destroy the lives of countless Singaporeans”.

It added that its minister has instructed Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act Office to issue a Correction Direction for several Singapore-based entities to publish a correction notice on their content which had featured LFL’s claims.

These include Kirsten Han’s Facebook post which had shared LFL’s statement, online portal The Online Citizen’s post, Yahoo Singapore’s Facebook post which shared an article by Yahoo Malaysia that featured the claims, the ministry said.

The ministry said that they will have to carry a correction notice along their posts or articles to state that these “contain falsehoods”.

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