MHA slams M'sian NGO's claims on S'pore's execution method, issues POFMA correction orders to Kirsten Han, Yahoo SG, The Online Citizen

MHA has refuted claims that Singapore prison officers were instructed and trained to carry out brutal, unlawful execution procedures.

Julia Yeo| January 22, 11:39 AM

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has called out Malaysian-based Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) for its allegations about Singapore's execution methods.

LFL claimed Singapore prison officers carry out brutal execution method

In a press release on Jan. 22, 2020, MHA stated that LFL's claims were "untrue, baseless and preposterous allegations".

They added that the LFL has been spreading various falsehoods to seek attention, in hopes of getting Malayisan prisoners on death row in Singapore off the death penalty.

On Jan. 16, 2020, LFL made the following allegation in their statement: "Prison officers were instructed to carry out the following brutal procedure whenever the rope breaks during a hanging, which happens from time to time."

LFL then stated how this was done.

  1. The prison officer is instructed to pull the rope around the neck of the prisoner towards him.
  2. Meanwhile, another prison officer will apply pressure by pulling the body in the opposite direction.
  3. The first officer must then kick the back of the neck of the prisoner with great force in order to break it.
  4. The officers are told to kick the back of the neck because that would be consistent with death by hanging.
  5. 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.
  6. Strict orders are also given not to divulge the above to other prison staff not involved in executions."

LFL also asserted that Singapore government approved of these “unlawful methods” to be used if the rope breaks during executions.

MHA rebuttal

MHA said in its statement that the allegations were "completely unfounded", adding: "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."

POFMA correction orders issued to Kirsten Han, The Online Citizen, Yahoo Singapore

MHA said it has instructed the POFMA office to issue correction directions to the LFL, as well as three other parties.

Those who will hear from the POFMA office include Singaporean activist Kirsten Han whose Facebook post shared LFL's statement, The Online Citizen, which published an article that contained the allegations, and Yahoo Singapore which published a Facebook post, which shared an article that contained the allegations.

In response to the correction order, Han shared that she had previously sent a follow-up to the Singapore Prison Service on Jan. 16, 2020, requesting for a response to LFL's allegations and the standard protocol for executions, which was not answered.

Top image via Gov.sg/YouTube, Yahoo Singapore Website, LFL Website, The Online Citizen/FB