Sir Richard Branson has turned down an invitation to participate in a live televised debate on the death penalty in Singapore.
Branson Said the discussion “does nothing to serve the complexities of the death penalty” and called for Singapore Embrace “constructive, sustained dialogue involving multiple stakeholders”.
The 72-year-old – a vocal campaigner against the death penalty – was invited by Singapore’s Home Office to take part in a debate that will also cover the country’s attitude towards drugs.
The British entrepreneur said he had “great respect” for the country and because of that he felt “had to speak up” when he saw “a serious error in Singapore’s use of the death penalty”.
He is one of many global critics. Malaysian man controversy Learning difficulties, was executed for drug trafficking.
In a blog post about his decision to decline the televised debate, Branson said: “I have decided to decline the invitation. Here’s why: Televised debates – limited in time and scope, always run the risk of putting characters over issues – Can’t do any services for complex executions.
“It reduces nuanced words to snippets of sound, serious debates to spectacle. I can’t imagine that’s what you want.
“What Singapore really needs is a constructive, sustained dialogue involving multiple stakeholders and a genuine commitment to transparency and evidence.”
He said “the dialogue needs a local voice”, he is a “global advocate for the abolition of the death penalty” and will “continue to raise the issue as much as I can for years”.
in his postalhe shared a personal story about his grandfather, a barrister and then a High Court judge, whose “greatest regret in life was to wear a black hat and sentence people to death”.
Read more about Sky News:
Lula elated in Brazil win
“He told my father that not only did he disagree with the principle of state killing,” he wrote, “he also genuinely feared that in the process, innocent people had been and will be executed. History has proven him right, time and again.”
Branson added that imposing the death penalty for drug crimes is “a disproportionate and ineffective response to the world’s drug problem.”