Covid-19 In Singapore: Man Received Death Sentence Via Zoom Call With Supreme Court

Hanima Anand |May 20, 2020

This is the first time a Supreme Court in Singapore was organized remotely, via a Zoom call. The criminal has been pronounced a death sentence through the screen.

A man in Singapore has been sentenced to death for drug deal but his case would be nothing special but for the Zoom call with Supreme Court.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone must practice social distancing to limit the virus spread. Singaporean authority sticks to this seriously.

Coronavirus In Singapore
Singapore is recording an exponential rise in coronavirus cases.

Spokesperson of Singapore’s Supreme Court shared with the press:

“For the safety of all involved in the proceedings, the hearing for Public Prosecutor v Punithan A/L Genasan was conducted by video-conferencing.”

Punithan Genasan, a 37-year-old man from Malaysia was caught in a 2011 heroin transaction but his case wasn’t brought to Supreme Court till last Friday. He was given a death sentence according to the laws.

Supreme Court In Singapore
Many activists disapprove of the way the Supreme Court delivers its verdict.

Reacting to the news, many people criticize the Supreme Court for underestimating human rights because no documents were presented during the Zoom call. Video conference is considered to possibly gloss over some essential procedures as in a normal court hearing.

Phil Robert, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division said:

“Singapore’s use of the death penalty is inherently cruel and inhumane, and the use of remote technology like Zoom to sentence a man to death makes it even more so.”

In fact, the lawyer of Genasan doesn’t object to the Zoom call. He said the video call was to receive the judge’s verdict only and his client could hear it very clearly.

Zoom Meeting
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom witnessed a boom in its number of users worldwide.

This is the first time in Singapore a Supreme Court was held online but it’s not the first case in the world. Prior to this, a similar case also took place in Nigeria and a death sentence was delivered clearly via a Zoom call.

What do you think of this approach? Is it acceptable during the lockdown?

Or it violates human rights?

Leave your comments below and update the latest coronavirus reports in India and worldwide with!

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