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Home arrow Newsletters arrow Issue 24: Singapore's Rule of BAD Law
Issue 24: Singapore's Rule of BAD Law  
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Falun Gong Human Rights Newsletter, Issue 24
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Singapore's Rule of BAD Law

Judge Refuses Evidence of the Chinese Communist Regime's Persecution of Falun Gong
and Throws Two Peaceful Protestors in Jail

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PDF version is here.

What is Singapore's judicial process coming to? The same level as that of Mainland China, it would appear. In this trial of citizen demonstrators for harassment, political concerns for China's reputation were held higher than Singapore's citizens' right to democratic expression.

On 20 July, 2006, the seventh anniversary of the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong, in front of the Chinese embassy, three Falun Gong practitioners displayed banners reading, "20 July Hunger Strike to Protest the CCP's Inhuman Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners" (in Chinese) and "Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong in China" (in English). The police charged them with "displaying insulting writing"

On 10 August, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) abruptly notified 73-year-old Ms. Chen Peiyu that her five-year long-term social visit pass was revoked, and she had to leave Singapore within three days. On 21 August 2006, right before the trial, the charge against her was dropped. She is currently in a third country seeking refugee status.On 30 November 2006, the Singapore Subordinate Court found the other two Falun Gong practitioners to be guilty of "harassment." Ms. Ng Chye Huay and Mr. Erh Boon Tiong were sentenced to fines of S$1,500 and S$1,000 or, alternatively, jail terms of 15 days and 10 days respectively.

They refused to accept the result and decided to appeal. Normally, the verdict is carried out only after the court determines the outcome of the appeal, but in this case, the judge ruled that the appeal could only be made after the defendants served their prison terms.

The police put Ms. Ng and Mr. Erh in jail immediately. Mr. Erh served his term in the Queenstown Jail and Ms. Ng served hers in the Changi Women's Jail.

The Court Gallery Has Only Four Seats

The courtroom used on 28 August had only twelve seats. Eight seats were reserved for auditors and four seats for the media and others. Thus a large number of Falun Gong practitioners who wanted to view the proceedings or show support could not enter the courtroom.

The courtroom used on 28 November had only four seats and there was only one seat for a defendant. It was thus hard for Ng and Erh to be there at the same time.

Defendants Denied Representation;
The Court Refused Evidence that the Persecution Exists

In September 2006, Ms. Ng Chye Huay went to the 2nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to speak out about how the Singapore government had violated her rights.

When the trial started in August, an important issue was that prosecution witness Sunny Wei, who is an investigator at the Tanglin Police Division, and also in charge of the case, testified that, if the CCP actually did persecute Falun Gong, the writing on the banner would not be considered "insulting." Therefore, attorney Madasamy Ravi, who represented the defendants, attempted to prove the truth of the persecution.

Attorney M. Ravi submitted the United Nations Report documenting persecution cases of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The judge refused to allow this evidence unless it was authenticated by a U.N. official. Nor could they submit other evidence of the persecution, including the Matas and Kilgour Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China.

In November, the authorities unexpectedly suspended the defendants' attorney, M. Ravi, from the Bar, so he was unable to represent Ms. Ng and Mr. Erh in court. The two defendants were not given time to find alternate counsel and had to defend themselves.

Mr. Erh and Ms. Ng pleaded to summon more witnesses, including Falun Gong practitioners who had been persecuted in China. However, the judge rejected their request, saying that the witnesses were not present at the scene of the alleged harassment. The judge ended the trial saying the defendants had no witnesses. In fact, the only evidence the court did consider relevant was the opinion the police had that the banners constituted harassment.

Finally, though the prosecution charged the defendants with "harassment," the prosecutor did not produce a single witness who alleged harassment. He said that as long as the police decide someone's behavior is considered to be harassment, the defendants can be charged for it, even if no one felt harassed.

The vulnerability of women to torture is not only of no concern to the PRC government, but is in fact ruthlessly exploited to persecute Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Wang, who audited the trial, said, "With insufficient witnesses and evidence, how can the prosecution prove the charges in a criminal case? How can the judge render a fair verdict? It is simply impossible."

The judge ordered the defendants to immediately submit their final statements. Ms. Ng protested for more time, as they did not have a lawyer. The judge then scheduled the final statements to be presented at 9:30 a.m. on 30 November. The defendants were only given half a day to prepare. As soon as the court found them guilty, the defendants were immediately sent to prison.

Suspicious Food Served Mr. Erh in Jail;
the Story of Dr. Chee Soon Juan

When Mr. Erh's wife visited him in jail, he told her that all of the other prisoners received the same boxes of food, but his box was numbered. He therefore refused to eat, thinking that the food might be poisoned. He went to a hunger strike to protest.

On 22 April, two weeks before the Singapore election, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, one of Singapore's most vocal opposition politicians and leader of the Singapore Democratic Party, committed the offense of speaking in public without a permit. Dr. Chee was sent to the same jail as Mr. Erh. When his sister visited him, Dr. Chee told her that he had not eaten since the morning of Monday 27 November, because every time he ate what was served him, he felt nauseous and dizzy and then threw up. The jail staff refused to let him buy food at the canteen, so he did not eat.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have criticized Singapore for its tight control of political expression, and the use of defamation lawsuits by Singapore's leaders to silence and bankrupt opposition politicians.

Dr. Chee was admitted to Changi General Hospital after the doctor at Queenstown Remand Prison had found traces of blood in his urine. He suffered from abdominal pains and his blood pressure was also extremely low.

Another political prisoner, Boon Suan Ban, was committed to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) last year and was given medication for schizophrenia even though he did not suffer from that ailment. An online publication, Singapore Democratic Party, mentions other instances of political opponents being given drugs while in jail. (See for example: http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleOct25trial33.html)

Closing Statement of Defendant Erh Boon Tiong

Mr. Erh stated, "I went to the Chinese Embassy to ask the CCP to stop the inhuman persecution that day. I did it out of my conscience and compassion. Close to three thousand Falun Gong practitioners are verified to have been killed as a result of the persecution. The number of undocumented cases is much larger. Many practitioners have been killed for their organs.

"The verdict was based on possibility and speculation. It was based on one policeman's allegation that the banner may possibly insult someone. However, if the persecution actually is occurring, the charge is groundless.

Li Wanyun was tortured nearly to death in the Chaoyanggou Labor Camp. He died on August 3, 2006 , at the age of 43.

"The key is whether the persecution is truly taking place. During the entire proceedings, we were trying to prove it is true. We provided the United Nations' report, President Bush's letter condemning the persecution, Resolution No.188 and No. 304 passed by the American Congress, and the independent investigation report by Canadian investigators, human rights attorney David Matas, and former Secretary of State for Asian-Pacific, David Kilgour. All such evidence was rejected.

"Many foreign media have reported the persecution, such as CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew recently said in Dallas that he didn't know why China would persecute Falun Gong, indicating he knew of the existence of the persecution. 80 lawsuits have been filed against the persecutors in countries all around the world. 30 cases are being tried in 30 countries. More than 40 lawyers are involved.

"No matter whether you want to listen to (our reasons), the persecution of Falun Gong is a fact. The persecution is wicked and shameless, and the biggest crime against humanity in history, and it is still secretly going on.

"The Singapore case has attracted attention from all around the world. We hope the Singapore government will make a righteous choice between goodness and evil.

"Everyone should have a conscience. The world is not for the wicked. The wicked will be punished and will pay for their wicked acts. It is a heavenly law. No matter how evil the CCP is, and even though the Singapore government wouldn't allow us to talk of the persecution, we will keep on no matter how difficult it is. We will keep doing it until the last day of the persecution.

"I also want to refute what the prosecutor said. He said, if a witness is not at the scene, he/she will be irrelevant to the case. How about a murderer who hires someone else to kill? He does not need to be at the scene of the murder to be found guilty.

"The prosecutor also said that when we did the sitting meditation, a man walked out of the Chinese Embassy to take a photo of us in a very close proximity, because he was unhappy and annoyed. Certainly, if you expose a murderer, he will definitely be unhappy about it. Many Falun Gong practitioners around the world protest against the CCP in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in many countries. The staff from the Chinese embassies or consulates has harassed those Falun Gong practitioners as well.

"I hope the judge will make a correct choice."

When the judge asked defendants to make a final statement, Ms. Ng refused because she didn't think it was a trial, "The whole process has been trampled on. What is the point of a final statement?" she said.


The evidence on the persecution of Falun Gong provided by the defendants:

United Nations' Report on the Persecution of Falun Gong
http://www.falunhr.org/reports/UN2004/UN2004.pdf

Resolution No. 188, unanimously passed by the US House of Representatives, calling for the CCP to stop the persecution of Falun Gong.
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/archive/2002-07/a-2002-07-26-4-1.cfm

Resolution No. 304 proposed by the US congressman calling for the CCP to stop the persecution.
http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/10/30/41818.html

The Canadian report of human rights lawyer David Matas and former MP David Kilgour on the Chinese Government's crime of taking live Falun Gong practitioners' organs.
http://organharvestinvestigation.net/


To sign the online petition:

http://falunhr.org/te/index.php?signature=1&lang=en


Picture Exhibit:

http://falunhr.org/te/


Background Information

What is Falun Gong?
Why the persecution in China?
Current situation of the persecution in China
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