Govt criticized AI's report on Death Penalty: J.B.Jeyaretnam comments

Posted by J.B. Jeyaretnam under Breaking News on 21 January 2004

J.B. Jeyaretnam comments on the government criticisim of Amnesty International's report on Singapore's Use of Death Penalty. The PAP government is only interested in the form and not in the substance.

As to be expected from the PAP government, its reply to Amnesty International's report on the death penalty in Singapore seeps with arrogance.

Any criticism is dismissed as "absurd" and the oft-asserted claim that the administration of justice in Singapore has received the thumbs-up from the foreign bodies is repeated. Who are these foreign bodies. Are they people who are competent to judge on the system. Has the International Commission on Jurists said that there is nothing wrong with the administration of justice in Singapore? The reports that the government trumpet blows are from business community organisations.

I have said more than once that we are taking a serious risk of sending innocent persons to prison and even to death.

If the government wishes to assure the public that this is not so, should there not be a public debate.

If the death penalty is to be retained, then every effort must be made to see that no innocent person will ever be hanged.

Not very long ago the Court of Appeal took the view tha because there had been a trial and a conviction, any complaint that there had been a miscarriage of justice could not be entertained even though the complaints were not brought up at the trial and before the Court of Appeal and had not been decided on. The accused was hanged with unseemly haste after the Court's decision.

The PAP government is only interested in the form and not in the substance.


J.B. Jeyaretnam
20th January 2004

Sources and Relevant Links:

Ministry of Home Affairs Press Statement: Comments by MHA Spokesman on Amnesty International's Criticism of Singapore's Use of Death Penalty 16 January 2004

Amnesty International: Singapore: High execution rate shrouded in secrecy 14 January 2004

ABC Radio Australia Singapore: Government defends mandatory death penalty

Think Centre Think Centre Calls for a moratorium on Death Penalty 17 October 2003


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