Human Rights Law Foundation Issues Statement Condemning Singapores Unlawful Sentences
(Clearwisdom.net) On November 30, 2006, Singapore authorities made an unreasonable verdict against two Falun Gong practitioners who peacefully protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, and were then forced into prison. The Human Rights Law Foundation issued a statement condemning the abuse of human rights. The statement said: "We respectfully call upon all nations around the world to call upon the government of Singapore to drop all charges against the Singapore Nine, to overturn the sentence imposed unlawfully upon Ng Chye Huay and Erh Boon Tiong immediately, and to cease all actions that unlawfully and unjustly curtail the ability of citizens and residents of Singapore to freely exercise their rights to religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, forthwith." Below is the text of the statement.
Statement of Human Rights Law Foundation
In July of this year, the Singapore government arrested three Falun Gong practitioners outside Singapores Chinese Embassy for their peaceful protest of the persecution of Falun Gong in China based solely on their religious and spiritual beliefs. Only a few days before the incident, the Singapore government had charged nine other Falun Gong practitioners for their peaceful distribution of flyers. The charging document was issued nine months after the challenged behavior and during the visit of the former Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing to Singapore, leading most to speculate that the arrests were geared in part to prevent practitioners of Falun Gong from staging a peaceful protest during the visit of the Chinese official most responsible in China for the persecution of Falun Gong.
Today, a Singapore Court sentenced two of the Falun Gong practitioners to jail terms for exercising their democratic and constitutional rights to demonstrate near a foreign embassy to indicate their disapproval of the policies and practices of Chinas unlawful persecution of Falun Gong in that country. As the world knows well, this is a time honored practice that has been followed innumerable times in various countries in the disputes over apartheid in South Africa, protests against Soviet practices during the Cold War, demonstrations against ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and former Yugoslavia, and currently with the problems of genocide in Sudan. Indeed it is one of the mechanisms used by the good people of the world to help stop the wave of genocide and ethnic cleansing initiated during the holocaust of the Second World War.
The sentence issued today by the Singapore Court is one more in a series of court decisions that make clear that the Singapore legal system is at best a sham and at worst a tool used by the authorities against those whose behavior is perceived as beyond the parameters of the policies and opinions of the government. Thus, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs observed in its "Freedom of Speech Report" for 2006, "Singapore Courts have also upheld that the ruling party (Peoples Action Party, hereinafter the 'PAP') as well as individual public officials may use court proceedings and defamation laws against those who report or express views from those of the government." Id. More recently, the United States underscored this point in its official United States Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2003, where it notes that several defamation suits have been consistently decided in favor of government plaintiffs indicating to many that the PAP and its leadership use the judicial system for political purposes. Id. Similarly, Asian Human Rights Watch notes in their 2005 report, titled, The Absence of the Rule of Law and the Actualization of Human Rights: a Contradiction that Must be Resolved, in Singapore, that "The ruling party [the Political Action Party] is also virtually the state .The capacity to assert one's rights do not exist in this environment at all. The absolute denial of rights makes it impossible for the realization of any rights." Id.
The litany of illegal arrests, arbitrary detentions and torture of Singapores most esteemed politicians, lawyers (including even its Solicitor General, Francis Seow) are well known to those familiar with Singapores use of the law to suppress and restrain anyone who does not tow the PAP party line. But why do those targeted now include Singapore citizens who practice the religion of Falun Gong, a peaceful meditative practice which encourages people to be kind, compassion and truthful? According to William Safire, in "Waiting for Righty," The New York Times, January 29, 2001, at p. 23, the recent crackdown on Falun Gong adherents who were stretching and breathing deeply in a public park without a permit" by Singapore authorities was intended to "Show the believers who was boss in the shopping-mall nation." Thus in a May 18, 2001 interview with Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI, Lee Yuan Kew said that he (aka "we") "had them arrested, [because in his view], Falun Gong and other religious [groups] pose a political threat to his regime.
The Courts sentence today reinforces these remarks, indicating once again that those who express views that run counter to the views of the Singapore authorities will be subjected to illegal criminal sanctions by a court that carries out the will of those above. Rather than find the practitioners innocent of the purported crime of "speaking out against the abhorrent practices of China against Falun Gong," rather than operate as an independent court of law that bases its rulings on rules of evidence and factual predicates, the Singapore court has elected instead to tow the PAP party line, and to support the Singapore authorities, thereby lending support and encouragement to the campaigns of torture, genocide and ethnic or religious cleansing that are ongoing in China, the Sudan and elsewhere around the world.
For this reason we respectfully call upon all nations around the world to call upon the government of Singapore to drop all charges against the Singapore Nine, to overturn the sentence imposed unlawfully upon Ng Chye Huay and Erh Boon Tiong immediately, and to cease all actions that unlawfully and unjustly curtail the ability of citizens and residents of Singapore to freely exercise their rights to religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, forthwith.