Branson slams Singapore for planning to execute man for smuggling 1 kilo of cannabis

British billionaire Richard Branson renewed his criticism of Singapore’s death penalty for drug traffickers, following the city-state’s plan to execute a man this week for smuggling in one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cannabis.

Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy that seeks to reduce the criminalization of drug use, voiced his concern in an over 600-word long blog post published Monday. He argued that Tangaraju Suppiah didn’t deserve to be executed, with the 46 year-old Singapore national’s punishment set to be carried out Wednesday.

“Singapore is an otherwise wonderful country, so it’s very sad to see some of its policies harking back to colonialism, and even reminiscent of medieval times,” Branson wrote.

Tangaraju was sentenced to death in 2018 after being found guilty of smuggling more than 500 grams of cannabis, the threshold for imposing capital punishment in the city-state. He failed in subsequent legal appeals to overturn the sentence, including a petition to Singapore’s president for clemency.

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and the anti-drug agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Branson’s latest criticism.


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