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Amnesty International 2023: Concerns over Singapore’s use of restrictive laws on critics and executions

Amnesty International’s 2023 report raises concerns over Singapore’s use of restrictive laws to silence critics and the continuation of executions.



Amnesty International has released its latest annual report, “The State of the World’s Human Rights,” which assesses human rights conditions in 155 countries.

The 2023 edition highlights a year marked by escalating conflicts and a near breakdown of international law.

The report warns of an accelerating decline in the rule of law, exacerbated by rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the dominance of Big Tech. According to Amnesty, these developments risk “supercharging” human rights violations if regulatory measures do not keep pace.

Amnesty’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, commented on the situation, stating, “Amnesty International’s report paints a dismal picture of alarming human rights repression and prolific international rule-breaking, all in the midst of deepening global inequality, superpowers vying for supremacy, and an escalating climate crisis.”

The report emphasizes that powerful governments have propelled the world into an era where the international rule of law is ineffectual, with civilians in conflict zones suffering the most. Furthermore, rapid changes in AI technology are creating fertile grounds for discrimination, racism, and societal division.

Amnesty International’s 2023 Report Highlights Human Rights Concerns in Singapore

Its report on Singapore raised concerns over how restrictive laws were used to silence government critics and the continuation of executions.

The execution of Saridewi Djamani marked the first time a woman has been executed in the country in nearly two decades, primarily for drug-related offences. According to Amnesty, these cases often do not meet international standards for a fair trial.

Instances of Freedom of Expression Suppression in 2023

  1. M Ravi’s Legal Battles: Human rights lawyer M Ravi faced significant legal repercussions in 2023. In November, he was sentenced to 21 days in prison and fined SGD 10,000 for nine instances of contempt of court related to his aggressive defense tactics in court. Earlier in the year, in March, his license to practice law was suspended for five years due to alleged misconduct during his defence of a death row inmate in 2020.
  2. Targeting of Journalists and Activists: The Ministry of Home Affairs issued orders in May for M Ravi, activist Kirsten Han, and the Transformative Justice Collective to issue corrections under POFMA. These orders were in response to their online activities, which the government claimed misrepresented legal processes in capital punishment cases.
  3. Blocking of Asia Sentinel: In June, the Singapore government ordered the blocking of the Asia Sentinel, a US-based news website, for its refusal to comply with a POFMA order to correct an article that allegedly misrepresented the use of government power against dissenters.
  4. Terry Xu’s Judicial Harassment: Terry Xu, the editor of The Online Citizen, was fined and ordered to pay S$30,000 in fine and legal costs in April for a 2021 publication that the High Court deemed contemptuous towards the Chief Justice.
  5. Investigations into Lee Hsien Yang: The government’s scrutiny extended to Lee Hsien Yang, the Prime Minister’s brother, who faced investigations for perjury in March. He and his wife were accused of leaving the country to avoid police questioning amidst a longstanding feud with the Prime Minister over family estate matters. In November, he was ordered to pay damages for defamation over his critical Facebook posts alleging corruption by top government officials.

Amnesty also noted that the Singapore Parliament passed the Online Criminal Harms Act in July, giving the government sweeping powers to restrict or block online content and raising concerns that it could be used against critics.

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World media once lumped SG as equal to others, S Korea, Taiwan, HK – 4 Asian dragons. Which means all are in same league. SKorea’s leaping away, Samsung non stop growth, LG, SK Telecoms, Hyundai, K Pop Domination, Korean Dramas all ARE in the world league, in fact trail blazing the world sat up. HK return to PRC and that’s obvious what development to expect. Singapore? WOW. Magnificent SG instead of GROWING its own talents, Showing to the world what it can achieved for them to take note worthy of – leave it to Citizens to ask themselves, esp HOW… Read more »

Authoritarianism knows no boundary.
But it is a estate built on shifting sand.

Remember Ozymandias?

Such reports have NEVER been a deterrent to those countries reported on.

Yeah, sure these countries will claim their adherence to the best practices of human rights. But in reality, the reports will next be found in the proverbial rubbish bin.

So, don’t waste time to hoping see change.

As they say “All quiet on the Western front”

Of course it’ll go down this road because the whole shit show is run by their people.
Unless or otherwise there can be a major insertion of alternative party members to balance the game, the whole circus will follow the cue of the ring master. Pliant system someone once mentioned and got into hot soup for this.
The Clown prince even went to the extent of pursuing his nephew.

As in all progressive and innovative nations, which SillyPore is no stranger to, … expect additions and variations to POFMA !!!

I most certainly, … expect nothing less from this regime !!!

Sin City going the way of nkorea..
Even leadership passes down ftom father to son…and maybe grandson, akan datang?