NYDN: Singapore invokes fake news law in death row scandal

World News

Allegations of deplorable behavior inflicted on Singapore death row prisoners has its government crying it’s fake news.

Now, the Asian nation’s government is employing controversial “fake news” legislation in order to squelch claims the prisoners are occasionally kicked to death to ensure their neck snaps during botched hangings.

A former executioner at Singapore’s Changi Prison claimed to a Malaysian human rights group that he and other jail officers were secretly ordered to repeatedly kick the back of the neck of inmates who failed to die from bungled hangings, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.

The unidentified killer added that he and other prison officers had special instruction to work in pairs to break the doomed prisoners’ necks.

“The officers are told not to kick more than two times, so that there will be no telltale marks in case there is an autopsy,” asserted the group Lawyers for Liberty.

But the Singaporean government is calling the stunning allegations absurd, denying it has ever killed a death row prisoner in that fashion.

“For the record, the rope used for judicial executions has never broken before,” said the government in a statement. “This fact alone shows the falsity of Lawyers for Liberty’s allegations.”

In 2019, Singapore promoted its Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act in a bid to protect national security and free speech, according to the ABC.

But groups argue that the law will instead be used to halt government criticism.

“This is all about Singapore’s effort to censor news that they don’t like,” argued Human Rights Watch spokesman Phil Robertson.
Malaysians are believed to make up the majority of death row prisoners in Singapore; most of the convictions are for drug trafficking, according to a report.