Human rights organisations condemn threat against fundamental freedoms in Singapore

Think Centre and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM – ASIA) express great concern over the proposed Bill No. 11/2018 on Public Order and Safety (Special Powers), as it puts restrictions on the people of Singapore to exercise their fundamental freedoms. We particularly condemn the inclusion of peaceful protests as a threat to public order and national security.

The proposed bill was introduced for first reading in Parliament on 27 February 2018. It categorises a peaceful protest under Part 1, Section 3 as a ‘serious incident’, making it a similar offense as terrorist acts, serious violence affecting the public, and other acts causing large-scale public disorder. It provides examples to further define what is considered a ‘serious incident’, such as sit-down demonstrations that attract large groups of protesters and consequently occupy public space. The proposed bill falsely conflates a peaceful protest, regardless of its non-violent nature, with terrorism, which would cause it to be treated the same way under the pretext of safeguarding national security.

The law opens the door to a potential abuse by government authorities and law enforcement entities to suppress the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and speech. It gives the Minister for Home Affairs, upon its own discretion, full authority to grant the Commissioner of Police special powers to address such ‘serious incidents’. These powers include the ability to prohibit the public from making or communicating audio, visual and texts messages about security operations. Anyone who would violate such an order will be subject to imprisonment for a maximum of two years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Singapore Dollars. As the police already has much power to curb the right to freedom of assembly under the existing Public Order Act, these new restrictions raise serious concerns. They will make occurrences of maltreatment and police violence against protesters more likely to happen.

Think Centre and FORUM-ASIA recall the joint report of the former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, on the proper management of assemblies, which states when a State invokes national security and protection of public order to restrict an assembly, it must prove the precise nature of the threat and the specific risks posed. It is not sufficient for the State to refer generally to the security situation. National, political or government interest is not synonymous with national security or public order.’

Additionally, obstructions resulting from protests do not make protests themselves not ‘peaceful’, therefore it should not lose its status of a peaceful protest nor the rights entitled to it. Any restrictions imposed on peaceful assembly should satisfy requirements of necessity and proportionality according to international human rights standards. The proposed bill violates the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and speech as guaranteed under Article 14(1)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of Singapore[4] and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Articles 19 and 20.

Think Centre and FORUM-ASIA call upon the Government of Singapore to exclude peaceful protests from the proposed bill and revise it to ensure that the protection of public order will not violate fundamental rights. We also demand the Government of Singapore provides ample time for public consultation on the bill and the special powers accorded to the police in it, as well as to consider and conform to international human rights standards of peaceful assembly.

 

Think Centre and FORUM-ASIA

 

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14 Responses to “Human rights organisations condemn threat against fundamental freedoms in Singapore”

  • PAP.Guarantee.Win.GE2020:

    I applaud PAP efforts in bringing peace and security to the country.

    Just look at Taiwan fighting parliament. What a joke.

    The world are laughing at Taiwan. hahahahaha

    Democracy means freedom to do anything without having to take responsibility for your actions.

    Example, students splash red paint into Chiang memorial statues and got away scot free.

    Then the students appear on TV and was happily boasting their efforts in splashing red paint.

    Police authority dare not even arrest them for vandalism, hahahaha.. democracy.

    Watch the students boasting here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQKz-Bw93SM

    Readers beware: Opposition will crash Singapore.
    Watch this Taiwan Parliament fight video clip.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTmgwX8taQQ

    WP.Guarantee.Lose.Aljunied-Hougang.GE2020
    Singaporeans support PAP 9% GST hike
    Singaporeans support PAP 9% salary increment
    Singaporeans support PAP demand Singaporeans to be cheaper, faster, better
    GE2020.PAP.Guarantee.Win.All
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat Huat Huat

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  • PAP is BEST:

    PAP best one, Singapore no need protest. Protest all must ban. PAP best one cannot wrong.

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  • Taiwan MPs vs SG MPs:

    Current oppositions in Taiwan who previously was the government, now fight the current party in government who previously was the opposition.

    The previous opposition now the government had also fought the party previously was the government but now in opposition.

    But each time, Taiwan MPs will only fight each other INSIDE the parliament, but OUTSIDE the parliament, they will only fight FOR their own Taiwanese people.

    Our MPs like to fight for each other inside the parliament, but outside the parliament, they seems to like fighting their own people;

    Calling them names, complaint about them being lazy, question how much they want? hawker centres, food court or restaurant? how much space they really need to make babies, CPF is not your money, worried about their own drop in income yet NSMen’s service for the nation cannot be measured in dollars and cents

    Uniquely Singapore !!

    https://mustsharenews.com/famous-quotes-sg-politicians/

    PAP.Guarantee.Win.GE2020:
    I applaud PAP efforts in bringing peace and security to the country.

    Just look at Taiwan fighting parliament. What a joke.

    The world are laughing at Taiwan. hahahahaha

    Readers beware: Opposition will crash Singapore.
    Watch this Taiwan Parliament fight video clip.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTmgwX8taQQ

    WP.Guarantee.Lose.Aljunied-Hougang.GE2020
    Singaporeans support PAP 9% GST hike
    Singaporeans support PAP 9% salary increment
    Singaporeans support PAP demand Singaporeans to be cheaper, faster, better
    GE2020.PAP.Guarantee.Win.All
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat Huat Huat

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP is BEST, you gila underpaid rubber tapper from Bohlehland? Business is bad, I know that for the rubber business. Wait for your boss next pay cut at your expense.

    At 10c per rubbish post comment, you won’t earn enough to make up for the shortfall.

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  • Great Asia:

    “fundamental freedoms”?!!!

    What are the fundamental freedoms?

    Asian shallow monkeys being hoodwinked by their Angmoh papa.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • Brave New World:

    Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted…
    No social stability without individual stability.
    - Aldous Huxley

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  • Kick them out:

    All this think tank action will not frighten shame!

    What will frighten him n his cowards are simply use sanctions or tariffs……….go take a leaf from Donald!

    Go to UN……..Take sanctions such as trade or hard-hitting tariffs! This will work!

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  • Great Ass Sure Can Sing Song:

    No “fundamental freedoms” you can keep coming back here to talk cock sing song for so long?

    Asian so freely insult other Asian in Angmoh language about Angmoh concept of freedom ?

    What a banana !!!

    Great Asia:
    “fundamental freedoms”?!!!

    What are the fundamental freedoms?

    Asian shallow monkeys being hoodwinked by their Angmoh papa.

    Ha ha ha!

    GD Star Rating
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  • LIONS:

    think better convert to PR N BE FT.
    FT-CROOKS are more leniently treated than our own offenders or suspects???

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  • Haigen Diaz:

    “PAP is BEST” is certainly an abhorrent ‘nut’ on a rotten branch of the PAP tree that needs attention. A megalomaniac who does not understand an old saying from Mom’s everywhere. “If PAP jumped off a bridge, would he/she do it too?”

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  • No Win No Fee:

    It appears that a totalitarian state system is taking shape where the gov will have total power over its people in this case to shut down all communication using the excuse of a terror threat or operation. The obverse angle to this is called marshall law when the army takes over civilian rule. All rights of the citizen are withdrawn. A public political meeting could be deemed a threat and this new law can be put to full effect. All it takes is for the gov to declare it a threat. The safeguards built into it are a farce. No police commissioner is going to go against the minister’s advice, the one paying his salary.

    What are we preparing for? There is obviously lots of room for gov abuse like most laws that are already in place. The gov has said it will vigorously defend the use of the law. This is a perfect example where the rule of law will be used. No appeals, no mercy. Total control.

    No civilian has ever willingly wanted to participate in am armed operation be it a terror threat or otherwise. What weapon has the civilian got that the police and army do not have?

    This law covers the authorities alone, they can now operate under cover to assassinate and not be held accountable. This has happened in USA and other parts of the world.

    Imposing a fine makes the law grievous. So if any info gets transmitted about any so called operation a fine or imprisonment can be inflicted by the courts. So there will be telcos involved in monitoring the situation and shutting down services in the area and monitoring abusers. So if there is a need for an ambulance or a fire no one can call for help in the area. Isn’t that great!

    It is interesting to note that the state is arming itself to the teeth for the cause of protecting the innocent. But the same rule of law can be used to persecute the innocent or the bystander in the street. If one interferes in the state’s heavily armed operations this law will protect the state not the victim. But in a democracy like ours it is different. Here the media and the gov decide that the victim is always guilty until proven innocent by their court of law. That is an irrefragable irony.

    GD Star Rating
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  • PAP is BEST:

    If PAP jump off the bridge means good one we must all follow. PAP best one cannot wrong one.

    Haigen Diaz:
    “PAP is BEST” is certainly an abhorrent ‘nut’ on a rotten branch of the PAP tree that needs attention. A megalomaniac who does not understand an old saying from Mom’s everywhere. “If PAP jumped off a bridge, would he/she do it too?”

    GD Star Rating
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  • Haigen Diaz:

    Both chilling and sad. It’s amazing how utterly clueless many are to the dangers of a total communications blackout in an ‘emergency’. The only purpose for government is to control anyone who threatens the state’s authority. Protests will be shut down before ever starting. How can a society tolerate having virtually everyone under suspicion for having a subversive thought? The least a moral Govt. can do is make sure people are well-informed. The excuse that terrorists can access info from media during its operation is utter BS. Advanced technology in this so-called ‘smart city’ can blanket out any area if they want to.

    No Win No Fee:
    It appears that a totalitarian state system is taking shape where the gov will have total power over its people in this case to shut down all communication using the excuse of a terror threat or operation. The obverse angle to this is called marshall law when the army takes over civilian rule. All rights of the citizen are withdrawn. A public political meeting could be deemed a threat and this new law can be put to full effect. All it takes is for the gov to declare it a threat. The safeguards built into it are a farce. No police commissioner is going to go against the minister’s advice, the one paying his salary.

    What are we preparing for? There is obviously lots of room for gov abuse like most laws that are already in place. The gov has said it will vigorously defend the use of the law. This is a perfect example where the rule of law will be used. No appeals, no mercy. Total control.

    No civilian has ever willingly wanted to participate in am armed operation be it a terror threat or otherwise. What weapon has the civilian got that the police and army do not have?

    This law covers the authorities alone, they can now operate under cover to assassinate and not be held accountable. This has happened in USA and other parts of the world.

    It is interesting to note that the state is arming itself to the teeth for the cause of protecting the innocent. But the same rule of law can be used to persecute the innocent or the bystander in the street. If one interferes in the state’s heavily armed operations this law will protect the state not the victim. But in a democracy like ours it is different. Here the media and the gov decide that the victim is always guilty until proven innocent by their court of law. That is an irrefragable irony.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Amos exposed PAP hypocrisy:

    To be clear. Amos proved in US Court twice that Singapore is PAP-run police state. That is why there are no fundamental freedoms in Singapore. If there was PAP would promptly be out of power – kicked out of Parliament for being self-serving, greedy, incompetent and pro-alien. Singaporeans would have “cleared the (PAP) swamp”.

    GD Star Rating
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