Man in Singapore Sentenced to Death by Hanging Via Zoom Call

Man in Singapore Sentenced to Death by Hanging Via Zoom Call”

Singapore has sentenced a convicted drug trafficker to death, using the popular video chat app Zoom because of the city-state's coronavirus lockdown.

Punithan Genasan, a 37-hear-old Malaysian national, was sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly introducing two drug dealers to each other in 2011.

Kirsten Han, a Singaporean journalist and activist, said: "The delivering of a death sentence via Zoom just highlights how clinical and administrative capital punishment is".

A spokesperson for Singapore's Supreme Court told Reuters for a Wednesday article that the decision to hand down Gensasn's sentencing in such a manner was made to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Recently it has also been used for a number of things like firing people, and in one case, which is a first, sentencing a man to death.

Genasan's lawyer Peter Fernando said he did not object to the use of Zoom. He said his client is considering an appeal.

While courts have deferred most hearings as Singapore battles the coronavirus, cases that are "deemed essential" such as Genasan's have continued-albeit remotely.

However, contrary to Fernando's stance, the video call sentencing has been widely criticized by human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Singapore's freaky case is the first death sentence handed down by video chat in the city-state, but it's at least the second time a death penalty sentence has been handed down to a prisoner via Zoom.

Singapore currently has the highest coronavirus rates in Southeast Asia
Singapore currently has the highest coronavirus rates in Southeast Asia

Like many other countries, Singapore has ordered the closure of most businesses, advised people to stay at home to fight the virus. It has defended capital punishment as a deterrent for the most serious crimes. Its dying penalty adviser, Chiara Sangiorgio, mentioned Singapore is just one of 4 worldwide locations that presently execute folks for drug offenses.

"It's shocking the prosecutors and the court are so callous that they fail to see that a man facing capital punishment should have the right to be present in court to confront his accusers".

Singapore has reported over 29,000 infections including 22 deaths.

"Whether via Zoom or in person, a death sentence is always cruel and inhumane", Sangiorgio said.

Singapore also retains the mandatory death penalty, in certain circumstances, for murder and drug trafficking, contrary to global safeguards and restrictions on the use of the death penalty.

On May 4, a man in Nigeria, Olalekan Hameed, was found guilty of murdering his mother's employer in 2018 and was sentenced to death by hanging via a Zoom call.

Human rights groups also condemned this sentence after it was also carried out via Zoom.

More news: "Ghana Has Not Requested For Madagascar's Supposed COVID-19 Cure" - Government Clarifies

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