Singapore set to execute two people for drug trafficking.

Singapore is set to execute a woman convicted of drug trafficking in 2018. It is being reported that this is the first time in 20 years that a woman would be hanged for a drug-related conviction.

The 45-year-old woman, identified as Saridewi Djamani, was given the mandatory death penalty after being found guilty of trafficking around 30 grams of heroin. She is due to be hanged on July 28.

She is one of two convicts who are due to be hanged this week for drug trafficking-related offences. The other convict is a 56-year-old man found guilty of trafficking 50 grams of heroin.

Amnesty International has urged the Singapore government not to carry out the executions. "It is unconscionable that authorities in Singapore continue to cruelly pursue more executions in the name of drug control," read an excerpt from the statement issued by the organisation.

"There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect or that it has any impact on the use and availability of drugs."

"As countries around the world do away with the death penalty and embrace drug policy reform, Singapore's authorities are doing neither," it added.

If the authorities carry out the execution, Djamani would be the first woman since 2004 to have been hanged for a drug offence. Yen May Woen was the last woman executed in Singapore for drug trafficking, writes The Guardian.

Human rights activists and organisations have been urging the government to relax its drug laws for years now, but the authorities believe that these stringent laws act as a deterrent for traffickers.

Last year, a 33-year-old Malaysian national with an intellectual disability was executed for smuggling drugs into the country more than ten years ago. The man, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2010 after he was found in possession of 42.7 grams (1.5 oz) of heroin.

Dharmalingam, who was 21 years old at the time of his arrest, had said that he was forced into carrying the package and that he did not know what it contained.

He was originally scheduled to be hanged in November last year, but the execution was delayed since he still had the right to appeal. He was granted a last-minute appeal wherein his lawyer, Violet Netto, argued that Dharmalingam should not be executed because he is not capable of making informed decisions.

He said that Dharmalingam has an IQ of 69, a level recognised as an "intellectual disability." His lawyer also objected to disclosing his medical records. Netto instead urged the five-judge bench to allow an independent psychiatric review of Dharmalingam's condition. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon rejected the lawyer's appeal, stating that it was "unreasonable."

Dharmalingam's case had attracted international attention, with human rights experts, the United Nations, the European Union, and civil society groups arguing against his execution. But that did not stop the authorities from carrying out the execution.

Singapore has some of the harshest drug laws. As many as 25 people have been executed in the city-state between 2016 and 2019 for drug-related offences.

The city-state had put a two-year hiatus on executions. However, a report by Human Rights Watch revealed that "Singapore authorities emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and went on an execution spree, putting to death at least 11 people in 2022."

In the last few years, the government has come down heavily on activists, lawyers, and journalists who have been trying to create awareness around the issue in an attempt to force the government to rethink its harsh drug laws.

"Activists and lawyers faced systematic harassment and even arrest and imprisonment for speaking out against capital punishment and other issues," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.