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Controversy after drug trafficker sentenced to death after trial via zoom in Singapore

A Singapore court sentenced a man to death in a trial carried out through the video-conferencing app ‘Zoom’ , something strongly criticized by human rights defenders.

Malaysian drug trafficker Punithan Genasan was sentenced to death by hanging during a distance hearing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, judicial officials in this Southeast Asian country said.

The 37-year-old man was convicted of having sold at least 28.5 grams of heroin, a crime punishable by the death penalty under Singapore’s strict anti-drug legislation.

This is the first time that capital punishment has been applied in the framework of a distance hearing, the Supreme Court stressed.

The video-conferencing application Zoom has become popular worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that this technology is totally inappropriate to pronounce such a sentence.

” The death penalty is essentially cruel and inhumane, and it gets even worse when Singapore uses technology like Zoom to sentence a man to death,” said the organization’s deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson.

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