Despite the appeals of his relatives and activists for clemency, Singapore executed a man convicted of drug trafficking on Wednesday, according to a family representative.
In 2013, 46-year-old Tangaraju Suppiah was convicted of aiding the trafficking of more than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cannabis, double the threshold for the death penalty in the city-state, which is notorious for its strict drug laws.
Kokila Annamalai, a rights activist based in Singapore who represented the family, verified that Suppiah had been executed by hanging after the president on the eve of his execution denied clemency requests.
The government of Singapore did not respond promptly to a request for comment.
Richard Branson, a well-known death penalty opponent, stated that the verdict against Suppiah did not meet criminal conviction standards because he was not near the drugs when he was apprehended.
In response, the government stated that Branson was peddling falsehoods and denigrating its justice system. It added that its courts had spent more than three years investigating the case and that Branson's claim was "obviously false."
The United Nations Office for Human Rights also urged Singapore not to carry out the execution and to "adopt a formal moratorium on drug-related executions."
Singapore executed eleven individuals last year and asserted that the death penalty is an effective deterrent against narcotics, with most citizens supporting the policy.