Group claims of brutal ‘neck-snapping’ procedure in Singapore jail when hanging fails

Rights group Lawyers for Liberty claims it has received evidence of brutal extrajudicial killings in Singapore’s Changi Prison. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today revealed shocking details of what it claimed were brutal extralegal execution methods, including one where two prison officers would pull the rope around a prisoner in the opposite directions in the event the hanging procedure fails during an execution.

LFL adviser N Surendran said details of the “brutal procedures” were shared by a former Singapore Prison Services (SPS) officer who carried out hangings in the Changi Prison’s execution chamber.

“This officer is prepared to come forward and testify at the appropriate forum,” said Surendran, who in the past attacked the Singapore government over its defence of the death sentence meted out on Malaysians convicted of drug-related offences.

Surendran said LFL was “compelled to disclose some details of the brutal hanging method” after the Singapore government ignored its offer to share evidences of brutal execution methods in the Changi Prison.

N Surendran.

Changi Prison is the only prison complex in the republic with the capacity to house over 20,000 inmates.

“Significantly, they have also not denied our allegation of brutality in carrying out hangings, which has been widely reported,” Surendran said.

FMT had failed to get a response from Singapore’s prison authorities when the allegation first surfaced in November last year.

Surendran said whenever the rope breaks during a hanging, a prison officer would pull the rope around the neck of the prisoner towards him.

“Meanwhile, another prison officer will apply pressure by pulling the body in the opposite direction.”

He said back of the neck of the prisoner would then be kicked “with great force in order to break it”.

“The officers are told to kick the back of the neck because that would be consistent with death by hanging.

“The officers are told not to kick more than 2 times, so that there will be no tell-tale marks in case there is an autopsy,” said Surendran in sharing the lurid details.

He said LFL was also informed that prison officers were given special training to carry out the execution method, but said it was possible that the Singapore government leaders including its home minister had no knowledge about it.

“Every death row prisoner in Changi, including the Malaysians, are in danger of suffering this excruciating death, should the rope break during the hanging,” he added.

Surendran repeated his call on Singapore to halt all executions pending an official inquiry.

He said the inquiry findings should be shared with Malaysia, including the number of Malaysians “executed using this brutal method in Changi”.