News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 Cartoons/Comics/Humor
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Asia-Pacific
Veteran of 850 executions
Singapore Fires Sole Hangman
As His Identity Is Revealed by Australian Media
By Peter McCrossan
Staff Writer
An execution by hanging

Singapore, known today for executing a higher proportion of prisoners than any other nation, including China and Saudi Arabia, is facing a dilemma at present – they have no hangman to operate the gallows.

Mr. Darshan Singh, the country's only hangman and overseer of some 850 executions in the past, was relieved of his position by the Singapore government recently after his identity was revealed in an Australian newspaper. Media speculation indicates a foreign hangman will have to be drafted in, as no suitable replacement for Mr. Singh has yet been selected.

The situation has added to the already muddled diplomatic situation, which has developed since the rejection of the final appeal for clemency in the case of an Australian drug smuggler sentenced to death earlier this year.

Growing international pressure has mounted for clemency to be granted to Van Nguyen Tuong, an Australian national who was convicted of smuggling heroin through Singapore's Changi Airport in 2002 and was scheduled to be executed on Dec. 2, 2005.

After his apprehension for importing 396.2 grams of heroin into Singapore, he was convicted under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which carries a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of smuggling more than 15 grams of heroin. In October 2004 the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against the death sentence.

Nguyen is the first Australian to face execution since Malaysia executed convicted drug traffickers Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers nearly 20 years ago. While admitting his guilt, he claims he was only transporting the drugs to help pay off the debts of his brother, a former heroin addict.

Singapore has consistently remained steadfast in its sentencing of drug smugglers, insisting that the law must be applied as drugs ruin the lives of addicts. The dilemma for Australian Prime Minister John Howard lies in the fact that criticism of Singapore's justice system would probably result in the hardening of its determination to carry out the sentence, as has happened in the past.

The Australian government had hoped to persuade Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to allow the case to be referred to The International Court of Justice. This request was turned down. While the prime minister of Singapore has the capability to overturn sentencing decisions, this rarely happens with the Singapore government maintaining that the death penalty is not a human rights issue.

A petition protesting against Nguyen's sentence has been running at www.australiaunites.com.au.



Related Articles
    St. Patrick's Day: The Man and the Myth
    Islamic Protests Signify Deepening Gulf
    Iranian President Denies Holocaust Existed
    Clemency Appeal Rejected by the Terminator
    The Most Dangerous Job in China
    Imperial Palace -- Traditional and Modern ...
    Lebanon and Korea Strengthen Ties
    1st Woman GM Reveals New Plans for Ramada


Mr. Peter McCrossan serves as staff writer for The Seoul Times. The Irish journalist studied computer science at University College Dublin. Mr. McCrossan covers diplomatic community affairs, travel & hotel industry, and local social issues.

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange