The United Nations has hit out at Singapore's move to execute another two inmates on death row, as well as its plans to hang two more this week, urging the city-state to end the use of the mandatory death sentence for drug offences.
In a statement issued by UN Human Rights Office spokesman Liz Throssell, it said it "deplored" the double hanging yesterday and was "deeply troubled" by the plan to execute two others on Aug 5.
It said Abdul Rahim Shapiee and his co-accused Ong Seow Ping, who were convicted in 2018 of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, were expected to be hanged on Friday.
It added that Rahim's family was informed of his impending execution on July 29.
Describing the death penalty as inconsistent with the right to life and to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, it said there was a growing consensus for its universal abolition.
"We urge the Singapore authorities to halt all scheduled executions, including those of Rahim and Ong," it said.
"We also call on the government of Singapore to end the use of mandatory death sentences for drug offences, commute all death sentences to a sentence of imprisonment and immediately put in place a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty."
Singapore's executions yesterday brought the total number of inmates hanged at Changi Prison since February to eight.
Lawyers and activists have pointed out that those executed are mostly from poor families, hired as mules by drug kingpins who have largely escaped arrest, an argument that Singapore courts have rejected.
Global rights organisation Amnesty International had also slammed Singapore's string of executions, saying Singapore's death penalty which is applied as a mandatory punishment for drug-related offences goes against international human rights laws and standards.
"Rather than having a unique deterrent effect on crime, these executions only show the utter disregard the Singaporean authorities have for human rights and the right to life," Amnesty's expert on the death penalty, Chiara Sangorgio, said.