Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by Lawyers for Liberty
Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by Lawyers for Liberty
False statements of fact were made by Lawyers for Liberty regarding the procedure for judicial executions in Changi Prison
min read Published on 21 Jan 2020

1. The statement by the Malaysia-based Lawyers for Liberty ("LFL"), published on 16 Jan 2020, which alleged the use of unlawful methods in judicial executions conducted in Changi Prison, contains false statements of fact.


LFL's allegation that the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) applies the alleged procedure for judicial executions is completely baseless

2. In their statement, LFL falsely asserted that:

“prison officers were instructed to carry out the following brutal procedure whenever the rope breaks during a hanging, which happens from time to time.

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

3. SPS does not apply the procedure as alleged by LFL for judicial executions. No effort is spared to ensure that all judicial executions in Singapore are carried out in strict compliance with the law. All judicial executions are conducted in the presence of the Superintendent of the Prison and a medical doctor, among others. The law also requires a Coroner (who is a Judicial Officer of the State Courts) to conduct an inquiry within 24 hours of the execution to satisfy himself that the execution was carried out duly and properly. For the record, the rope used for judicial executions has never broken before. This fact alone shows the falsity of LFL's allegations.

Additional Clarifications

4. LFL also made spurious allegations that prison officers were “given special training to carry out the brutal execution method”, that the Singapore Government approved of these "unlawful methods", and suggested that specific measures were adopted to cover up these methods. These allegations are entirely unfounded.

5. Prison officers certainly do not receive any “special training to carry out the brutal execution method” as alleged. Any acts such as those described in the LFL statement would have been thoroughly investigated and dealt with.

6. These scurrilous allegations of misconduct follow a series of sensational and untrue stories previously published by LFL. LFL has been publishing various falsehoods to seek attention in hopes of getting Malaysian prisoners, who have been convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Singapore, off the death penalty.

7. Those who traffic drugs in Singapore, harm and destroy the lives of countless Singaporeans. These traffickers must be prepared to face the consequences of their actions.