M'sian rights group says it has proof from 'impeccable sources' that S'pore prison manually executes those on death row

They will not comply with the POFMA correction direction.

Sulaiman Daud| January 22, 05:54 PM

The rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) are standing by their claims that Singapore's methods of execution are "brutal".

In a press release issued on its website on Jan. 22, Melissa Sasidaran, director of LFL, said the group has obtained evidence from former and current prison officers.

She said:

"Firstly, we absolutely stand by our statement that prisoners on death row in Changi prison are executed brutally and unlawfully by kicks to the neck whenever the rope breaks.

Our statement is based upon evidence from former and current Singapore prison officers. These are officers with impeccable service records."

MHA: LFL's allegations are untrue, baseless and preposterous

Earlier on Jan. 22, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) rejected the allegations by LFL that prison officers in Singapore carried out "brutal" procedures when a rope breaks during a hanging.

LFL claimed such occurrences happened from "time to time".

Some of the procedures that took place supposedly involved kicking the back of the neck of the condemned, and not to kick more than twice to hide "tell-tale marks" during the autopsy.

MHA said that these allegations were untrue, baseless and preposterous.

MHA said:

"No effort is spared to ensure that all judicial executions in Singapore are carried out in strict compliance with the law.

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.”

Factually, the Singapore government fact-checker website, released a series of clarifications regarding LFL's claims.

Minister Shanmugam activated POFMA

Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam instructed the POFMA Office to issue correction directions against various media outlets that repeated LFL's allegations, and against LFL itself for the statement on its website.

In response, LFL called POFMA an "oppressive and undemocratic law" that has been condemned internationally as a weapon to stifle dissent and criticism.

LFL also objected to the use of POFMA, and said they were not subject to Singapore's laws, and claimed that Singapore was breaching the law.

"It is outrageous and unacceptable for Singapore to issue a notice under their POFMA to a Malaysian organisation such as LFL, which is operating and issuing statements on Malaysian soil. Singapore has no business interfering with the freedom of speech of Malaysian citizens making statements within our own country.

This is nothing short of an attempt to silence us and prevent the truth about the manner of executions from coming out. Singapore should learn to accept criticism. They have no monopoly over what constitutes facts and the truth.

This attempt by Singapore to extend their jurisdiction to Malaysian citizens across the causeway is provocative, illegal and in breach of international law."

LFL stated that they would not comply with the correction direction.

They also called on the Singapore government to withdraw the other correction directions, mentioning Kirsten Han and The Online Citizen by name, but not Yahoo Singapore.

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Top image from Lawyers for Liberty's Facebook page and Tamara Gore via Unsplash.