Singapore – Request made by adpan members to comply with UPR recommendation

Please see  below a communication between ADPAN members,  the Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty, Second Chances, the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign and Think Centre – requesting  more information on the death penalty in connection with the recommendation made during the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council.

A Correspondence with the Singapore Prison Service

Posted by Kirsten on August 22, 2012 in News Updates

Part of our work in the anti-death penalty campaign is to research and gather as much information as possible on the death penalty and its application in Singapore. Data is crucial in allowing us to understand how the death penalty is used in Singapore, and for us to identify issues and problems.

During the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, the Singaporean Government accepted the following recommendation:

95.15. Make available statistics and other factual information on the use of the death penalty.

The Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty – a collaboration between Second Chances, the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign and Think Centre – thus decided to put in a request to Singapore Prison Service (SPS) for more information on the death penalty.

Below is our full correspondence with SPS.

29 July 2012 

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Singapore Working Group for the Death Penalty is doing some research on the use of the death penalty in Singapore. As such, we would like to request the following information from the relevant bodies:

– The total number of people on death row Singapore at the moment
– Names, ages and nationalities of the people currently on death row in Singapore
– A breakdown of the crimes committed by current death row inmates
– The procedure and protocol of an execution in Singapore

We thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards,
The Singapore Working Group for the Death Penalty

3 August 2012

Dear Ms Han

Please refer to your request for information dated 29 July 2012.

2. There are currently 35 prisoners awaiting capital punishment – 28 of them for drug offences and seven for murder. This information was given by DPM Teo Chee Hean in Parliament on 9 July 2012.

3. For information on the number of capital executions, and the breakdown by murder, drugs and firearms, please refer to the Singapore Prison Service Annual Statistics 2011 found on the Prisons website. The URL is given here for your easy reference: http://www.prisons.gov.sg/content/dam/sps/publication_latest/2012%20Prisons%20Annual%20Statistics%20Release%201%20Feb%202012.pdf

Yours sincerely
MUHD NUR FIRDAUS (MR)
MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS
Corporate Communications and Relations Branch (CCRB)
Singapore Prison Service

3 August 2012

Dear Mr Firdaus

Thank you for your response and the link to the 2011 statistics.

However, the link does not provide information on the names of the inmates on death row, and the facts of their case. In the light of the proposed changes to the mandatory death penalty, it would be extremely beneficial to our research to know how many cases could be potentially affected, and who these inmates are.

It would also be very helpful to our research if we knew the exact procedure of an execution in Singapore, and also if there is any state-supported counselling/welfare service provided to the families of death row inmates.

Thank you very much!

Sincerely
Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty

8 August 2012

Dear Ms Han,

Please refer to your request for information dated 3 August 2012.

2. Prisons’ policy is not to disclose such information which is confidential in nature.

Yours sincerely
MUHD NUR FIRDAUS (MR)
MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS
Corporate Communications and Relations Branch (CCRB)
Singapore Prison Service

8 August 2012

Dear Mr Firdaus

Thank you very much for your response.

May I just enquire which of the following are considered by policy to be confidential in nature:

1- The names of all the inmates currently on death row.
2- The facts of each death row inmates’ case.
3- The exact procedure of an execution in Singapore.
4- Whether there is a state-supported counselling/welfare service for families of death row inmates.

With cases and sentencing sometimes reported in the newspaper, it would be helpful to us to know why #1 and #2 would be considered confidential in nature. Also, it would be helpful to Singaporeans to know how people are executed in their name (#3) and in the case of #4, it will help us decide if we are concerned Singaporeans need to try to organise some sort of additional support for the inmates’ families.

Sincerely
Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty

17 August 2012

Dear Ms Han,

As mentioned in our previous email dated 8 Aug 2012, such information is confidential and Prisons’ policy is not to disclose the information.

Your sincerely,
MUHD NUR FIRDAUS (MR)
MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS
Corporate Communications and Relations Branch (CCRB)
Singapore Prison Service

17 August 2012

Dear Mr Firdaus

This is very disturbing to hear as it does not appear to be in accordance with Singapore’s support of Finland’s recommendation at the Universal Periodic Review of Singapore’s human rights record at the United Nations. The suggestion made by Finland is this:

95.15. Make available statistics and other factual information on the use of the death penalty (Finland);

Singapore felt that this had already been implemented, or is in the process of being implemented, yet if we are unable to even get a list of names of people on death row, or the fact of their cases, then it would seem like the information isn’t actually made available.

Sincerely
Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty

There has not been any further reply from SPS so far.

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To view the original post by We believe in 2nd chances, see: http://secondchances.asia/a-correspondence-with-the-singapore-prison-service/

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