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South Africans face execution in Malaysia for drug trafficking

In Malaysia drug crimes are taken very seriously, those who sell drugs can be punished with death.

FILE: Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - At least three South Africans found guilty of drug trafficking are facing execution in Malaysia.

The International Relations Ministry has highlighted its warning against the crime, saying about 880 others are serving sentences or awaiting trial in foreign countries, with 169 in Brazil, 30 in Peru and 13 in Thailand.

Amnesty International released its global state of death penalty report last week, saying nine people were executed in Malaysia last year for drug trafficking and other charges.

In Malaysia drug crimes are taken very seriously, those who sell drugs can be punished with death.

Amnesty International’s Chiara Sangiorgio says as of March this year, 799 people have been sentenced to death in Malaysia, most of them for drug trafficking.

“Thar was truly shocking to us, we did not expect that many executions to have been carried out.”

International Relations spokesperson Nelson Kgwete says government has written to Malaysia to have death penalty sentences against South Africans converted to life in prison.

“And we’ve not received any positive response from the authorities.”

Other countries that impose very harsh sentences against drug mules include China, Thailand and Singapore.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)