SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) disclosed on Saturday (21 Oct) that investigations are underway concerning an incident involving local activist Gilbert Goh, who is alleged to have staged an unauthorized public demonstration at Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park.
This investigation follows a recent declaration by the authorities, including the National Parks Board, prohibiting events and public assemblies related to the volatile Israel-Hamas conflict, citing substantial public safety and security concerns amidst escalating international tensions.
Defying these restrictions, Goh reportedly shared a monochromatic image on Instagram on Thursday (19 Oct), capturing himself at Speakers’ Corner, displaying a placard with a message that read, “Peace not war. Israel stop the killing at Gaza! Hamas release all the hostages!” The post garnered positive feedback, with netizens commending Goh’s courage and echoing his sentiments for peace.
The same image, albeit in colour, was published by others via other social media platforms subsequently.
In a statement released, the SPF acknowledged awareness of “a social media post showing a man holding onto a sign related to the Israel-Hamas conflict outside the Speakers’ Corner” and affirmed that inquiries are ongoing. Though the statement did not explicitly name Goh.
Speaking to Gutzy, Goh shared that he has yet to be approached by the police to assist in the investigation.
The SPF sternly reiterated its stance on the matter, emphasizing that organizing or partaking in public assemblies without requisite permissions, especially concerning sensitive issues like the Middle East conflict, is an actionable offence under Singapore law.
This local incident unfolds against the harrowing backdrop of continued violence in the Middle East. The conflict, now intensified following Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and subsequent Israeli military responses, shows no sign of abating, taking a heavy toll on civilian lives and infrastructure on both sides.
Israel officials have said more than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed in the attack by Hamas on 7 October, while recent reports from Gaza’s Health Ministry reveal a grim tally of 4,137 fatalities, with injuries numbering at 13,300, as relentless bombardments persist. Among the tragically deceased were 16 Palestinian Christians, victims of a direct strike on a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza city.
Goh, known for his advocacy in human rights, helms Transitioning.org, providing support for the unemployed, and Love Aid Singapore, focusing on the local homeless and underprivileged populace. His activism extends internationally, with humanitarian efforts in conflict-ridden zones in the Middle East.
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