Connect with us

Civil Society

Front Line Defenders calls for end to harassment of human rights lawyer M Ravi by Singapore authorities

Front Line Defenders urges authorities to cease harassment of human rights defender and lawyer Mr M Ravi, also known as Ravi Madasamy, who was struck off from the roll of advocates and solicitors by the High Court. Mr Ravi faces sentencing on 17 July 2024 for 19 charges, which Front Line Defenders believes are linked to his human rights work.



Human rights defender and lawyer Mr M Ravi, also known as Ravi Madasamy, has been struck off from the roll of advocates and solicitors following a High Court order.

This decision has drawn significant concern from Front Line Defenders, an international human rights organization, which is urging the Singaporean authorities to cease their harassment of the prominent lawyer who has been practising in Singapore for over 20 years.

The High Court’s order to disbar Mr Ravi came after the Law Society of Singapore applied for his disbarment over statements he made about then-President Halimah Yacob, behaving disrespectfully towards a judge during a trial in November 2021, and making dishonest representations about his client’s wishes to the court. This follows an earlier suspension on 21 March 2023 for five years—the maximum term—for allegedly raising “grave and baseless accusations of improper conduct” against Singapore’s Attorney-General.

The court’s judgment to disbar Mr Ravi emphasized the seriousness of his actions, highlighting his extensive history of disciplinary issues, noting, “Prior to the two matters before this court, the respondent has had many antecedents, having been found guilty on more than 10 occasions of improper conduct by the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Law Society of Singapore.”

Justice Steven Chong, delivering the court’s decision, underscored the gravity of Mr Ravi’s actions and their implications for the legal profession. “Such unwarranted and unjustified attacks on important public institutions cannot be made, lest they erode the public’s trust and confidence,” he remarked.

The court’s decision to strike Mr Ravi off the roll was described as being aimed at protecting the public and upholding integrity and trust in the legal profession. The judges also ordered Mr Ravi to pay a total of S$26,135.54 in various legal costs.

In response to the disbarment, Front Line Defenders issued a statement on 6 June, asserting that they believe the charges against Mr Ravi are directly related to his work in defending human rights in Singapore.

The organization expressed serious concern about the impact of his disbarment on his ability to continue his work and on his psychological well-being.

Additionally, Mr Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced on 17 July 2024 for a total of 19 charges. Front Line Defenders asserts that these charges are also linked to his human rights advocacy.

Front Line Defenders has called on the Singaporean authorities to:

  • Revoke the disbarment of Mr Ravi.
  • Immediately cease all judicial harassment against Mr Ravi.
  • Guarantee that all human rights defenders, including lawyers, can carry out their legitimate activities without fear of judicial harassment.

While Mr Ravi, a founding member of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (S.A.D.P.C.) community group, has faced various charges and been struck off, he has received international recognition for his tireless efforts to champion the rights of the underprivileged through various accolades awarded around the world.

He is recognized as a human rights defender by Front Line Defenders for arguing landmark cases concerning the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty, freedom of expression, defamation laws, freedom of assembly, contempt of court, and access to legal representation.

The most recent acknowledgment came during the 2023 International Bar Association Conference held in Paris from 29 October to 3 November, where he was presented with the prestigious 2023 IBA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights, in recognition of his exceptional work in advocating for the underprivileged.

Front Line Defenders continues to advocate for Mr Ravi, urging Singaporean authorities to allow him to continue his vital human rights work without further judicial harassment.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank you Mr Ravi…he speaks for those who cant..

Food For Thought:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—Martin Niemöller

Last edited 29 days ago by W.A.J.

The human rights lawyer have been the PAP government most hatred person, anyone whoever have any relation with him will be under target of Singapore PAP gangsters from all walks of life.

What trust or confidence in these regime’s institutions are they talking about? Have they not done enough in destroying public trust and confidence yet??? This is surely the final nail in the pap coffin, just you wait and see.

Lawyers should be forced on making money. Why care about petty things like “human rights” and “human dignity.”

Only the ruling elite need such things. Peasants should just accept their lot in life. etc. etc. etc.

Esteemed lawyers like Mr M Ravi have done their best to expose the rot within the system. But is anyone taking notice?

In the decades to come, when the 70% are experiencing voter’s remorse. Do not say that nobody warned you. The best time to change course was yesterday, but today is fine too. I’m not so sure about tomorrow.

The “spring cleaning” continues…

Did the judge send Mr. Ravi for medical evaluation prior to the sentencing? It is no secret that he is bipolar and would need a different consideration before sentencing.