Singapore – Disclosure of the brutal & unlawful hanging methods in Changi prison – brutal kicks inflicted to snap prisoners’ necks

Press Statement

 

Disclosure of the brutal & unlawful hanging methods in Changi prison – brutal kicks inflicted to snap prisoners’ necks

 

16 January 2020

 

In November last year, we had revealed to the public in this country that brutal and unlawful methods were being used to execute prisoners in Singapore’s notorious Changi prison. This was of importance here, as many Malaysians are on death row in Changi prison, mainly being convicted drug mules.

We had also written to the Singapore authorities and informed them that we are prepared to meet them and handover the evidence in our possession.

However, the Singapore government has met our disclosures with deafening silence. Significantly, they have also not denied our allegation of brutality in carrying out hangings, which has been widely reported.

In the circumstances, we are compelled to disclose some details of the brutal hanging method, in order that the ensuing public scrutiny will bring to an end these methods.

We received this information from a Singapore Prison Services (SPS) officer who had served at the execution chamber in Changi prison, and himself carried out hangings.

This officer is prepared to come forward and testify at the appropriate forum. His evidence follows below:

He and other prison officers were instructed to carry out the following brutal procedure whenever the rope breaks during a hanging, which happens from time to time.

a) The prison officer is instructed to pull the rope around the neck of the prisoner towards him.

b) Meanwhile, another prison officer will apply pressure by pulling the body in the opposite direction.

c) The first officer must then kick the back of the neck of the prisoner with great force in order to break it.

d) The officers are told to kick the back of the neck because that would be consistent with death by hanging.

e) The officers are told not to kick more than 2 times, so that there will be no tell-tale marks in case there is an autopsy.

f) Strict orders are also given not to divulge the above to other prison staff not involved in executions.

We have been informed that prison officers were given special training to carry out the above brutal execution method.

This execution method is unlawful as the mode of execution prescribed by law is hanging by the neck, and not execution by brutal kicking of the neck.

Every death row prisoner in Changi, including the Malaysians, are in danger of suffering this excruciating death, should the rope break during the hanging.

It is particularly disturbing that this is being done surreptitiously, with specific measures adopted to ensure that nothing incriminating is revealed during any subsequent autopsy. This is blatant deception and illegality by the Singapore authorities.

It is in flagrant breach of Article 9 of the Singapore Constitution, the effect of which is to prohibit cruel and unusual punishments.

This could not have been done without the knowledge and approval of the Home Minister and government. Quite clearly, the Republic of Singapore has been knowingly carrying out executions by methods prohibited by both Singapore law, as well as international law.

At this point, we cannot say how many Malaysians or other nationals have been executed in Changi prison by this horrendous method. Only the Singapore government has that information.

We call upon the Singapore Government to consider the following steps:

i) To immediately impose a moratorium on all executions in Singapore pending investigations or a Commission of Inquiry into this matter.

ii) To handover a copy of the findings to Malaysia, many of whose citizens have been executed in Changi or are facing execution.

iii) To reveal the number and identities of Malaysian prisoners who have been executed using this brutal method in Changi.

iv) To agree to compensate families for the unlawful execution of their loved ones.

We further call upon the Malaysian government to take urgent steps to protect the safety and basic rights of all Malaysian prisoners now on death row in Singapore.

Issued by,

N Surendran

Advisor

Lawyers for Liberty

Source: Lawyers For Liberty Website 

Rights group alleges barbaric, unlawful execution methods in Singapore

Surendran has demanded Singapore halt further executions while it addresses these allegations. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Surendran has demanded Singapore halt further executions while it addresses these allegations. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Singaporean executors kick and pull on inmates condemned to death by hanging to effectively kill them, Lawyers for Liberty alleged today when warning that Malaysian convicts there were at risk of the cruel punishment.

The rights group representing Malaysians sentenced to die in Singapore further alleged that it has eye-witness testimony from a Singaporean prison official who was willing to testify to this in an “appropriate forum”.

LFL adviser N. Surendran said his group was compelled to release these allegations today after the republic ignored attempts to raise such matters with the country’s officials.

Among others, he said the witness informed LFL that Singapore made its prison officers simultaneously yank on the rope by which condemned inmates are hanged while pulling down on their bodies.

This was compounded by forcibly kicking the back of the inmates’ necks to simulate hanging injuries.

The method is purportedly to ensure the hanging results in a broken spinal cord that would effectively result in death, Surendran said in a statement today that further asserted that such methods were specially taught to Singapore’s prison officials.

“This execution method is unlawful as the mode of execution prescribed by law is hanging by the neck, and not execution by brutal kicking of the neck.

“Every death row prisoner in Changi, including the Malaysians, is in danger of suffering this excruciating death, should the rope break during the hanging,” Surendran said.

Surendran added that executors were also told not to kick more than twice in order to avoid suspicious markings on the condemned inmates’ bodies and ordered not to discuss the alleged methods.

Such techniques were deceptive, unlawful, and in clear violation of Singapore’s constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishments, he said.

The lawyer was also adamant that the alleged execution techniques were known to Singaporean officials including its home minister.

He clarified, however, that LFL did not know for certain how many Malaysians might have experienced such treatment when they were executed in Singapore.

The former Padang Serai MP then demanded Singapore halt further executions while it addresses these allegations and arranges to compensate the families of any who were killed in this alleged fashion.

“We further call upon the Malaysian government to take urgent steps to protect the safety and basic rights of all Malaysian prisoners now on death row in Singapore.”

LFL first alluded to these claims in November, after Singapore proceeded with the execution of Malaysian drug mule Abd Helmi Ab Halim for trafficking 16g of heroin.

Surendran and his group had represented Abd Helmi and clashed repeatedly with Singapore in their bid to prevent the execution.- Malay Mail, 16/1/220

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