l 37 enne Punithan Genasan, guilty of having participated in a traffic of heroin in the Asian city state, received the sentence from a computer screen
A man can be sentenced , not only, to the death penalty, but via Zoom? In times of coronavirus it is possible and has happened. To maintain social distancing, a prisoner was tried and sentenced to capital punishment by a remotely connected court for the blockade live trials for contagion risk.
The Singapore authorities have chosen the videoconference to communicate to Punithan Genasan, a Malaysian from 37 years, the harsh sentence. The man had played a central role in a heroin trafficking discovered in 2011.
He had denied any involvement, but the Court rejected his defense. And so, the man learned from a distance that he will be hanged.
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«Singapore's adoption of the death penalty is inherently cruel and inhuman and the use of remote technologies such as Zoom to sentence a man to death is still more »said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch .
But a spokesman for the Singapore Supreme Court explained that the Genasan case was conducted online “for the safety of all parties involved in the proceeding 'due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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Robertson is not the only human rights activist to have launched himself against such a dehumanizing practice , the spokeswoman for Amnesty International Chiara Sangiorgio also stressed how «a death sentence is always cruel and inhuman, both via Zoom and in person».
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For Genasan's lawyer, however, there is nothing to complain about in the proceedings: the video call , he claims, had only been used to communicate the judge's verdict. Now he is thinking of appealing.