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Man sentenced to death via Zoom call in Singapore

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A man has been sentenced to death in Singapore via a zoom video call in the country’s first case where such a decision has been delivered remotely.

Court documents on Wednesday revealed that Punithan Genasan, a 37-year-old Malaysian, received the sentence on Friday for his role in a 2011 heroin transaction, with the country under strict lockdown to halt the spread of Coronavirus.

“For the safety of all involved in the proceedings, the hearing for Public Prosecutor v Punithan A/L Genasan was conducted by video conferencing,” a spokesperson for Singapore’s Supreme Court said in response to Reuters’ questions, citing restrictions imposed to minimise the spread of the virus.

It was the first criminal case where a death sentence was pronounced by remote hearing in Singapore, the spokesperson added.

Genasan’s lawyer, Peter Fernando, said his client received the judge’s verdict on a Zoom call and was considering an appeal.

While Rights groups have criticised the use of Zoom in capital cases around the world, Fernando said he did not object to the use of video-conferencing for Friday’s call because it was only to receive the judge’s verdict with no further legal arguments to be heard.

“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,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division.

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UK parliament debate petitions on the violence surrounding the #endSars protest in Nigeria

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Members of the UK parliament on Monday, November 23, held a debate on the petition to the United Kingdom government seeking a sanction on some Nigerian government officials by the EndSARS protesters over gross human right abuse.


During a sitting at the Westminster Hall, the lawmakers took turns to slam the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for the poor handling of the protest. The debate for the petition tagged ‘e-petition 554150′ was led by Theresa Villiers, a member of the British Conservative Party. Parliamentarians who spoke raised eyebrows against the defence of the federal government that there was no shooting at the Lekki toll gate.

While describing the “Nigerian government’s violence against its own citizens” as intensifying, Kate Osamor, a member who is representing Edmonton, said the corruption and police brutality still continue. Osamor also described as “undemocratic conduct” the claim by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, that the killing and shooting at Lekki, as contained in a CNN report, is fake news.


The member said:

“The Nigerian government needs to stop freezing bank accounts of key protesters; it needs to stop illegal detentions of key protesters. “We are aware that some protesters have reported facing intimidation and the British High Commissioner in Abuja continues to raise our concerns about intimidation of civil society groups and peaceful protesters with the Nigerian government.” The UK parliament said it would continue to communicate with the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and a top member of the Nigerian presidency.

The parliament concluded that “future sanctions could reduce the impact of the designations.”

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