Joint statement by Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) and Think Centre on Alan Shadrake’s 6 weeks jail term
May 28, 2011, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Singapore, Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign

(Singapore, 27 May 2011) Think Centre (TC) and Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) is deeply disappointed with the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold Alan Shadrake’s original sentence of six-week jail term and S$20,000.00 fine topped up with an additional S$55,000 in costs to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The case garnered much attention internationally since Shadrake’s first arrest in July 2010 and had demonstrated Singapore’s judicial system’s predilection to be thin-skinned to criticisms and calls for reform. This unfortunate decision to prosecute Alan Shadrake only serves to further add an indelible stain on Singapore’s longstanding blemished human rights record especially in the realm of freedom of expression.

“As an investigative journalist, Alan has every right to publish his findings on the implementation of the death penalty in Singapore. Instead of persecuting him in this manner, the government could have banned the book. This heavy fine and jail sentence sends a clear message that the government does not respect independently minded journalists who point out flaws and shortcomings in the Singapore system” said Rachel Zeng, spokesperson for Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign.

Mr Sinapan Samydorai, spokesperson for Think Centre said, “The sentence is unduly harsh and lacks compassion . Singapore’s authorities, much as they disagree with the publication of his book, should treat Alan gently considering he is vulnerable in health. Alan will start serving a total of eight weeks in jail next Wednesday as he will also serve the default two-week jail for not paying the fine of S$20,000 in addition to the six weeks jail term for contempt of court. Alan Shadrake should be release in five weeks after remission for good behaviour.”

The verdict takes place two weeks after two major milestones in Singapore’s history: a landmark national parliamentary election that reflected the electorate’s call for change and Singapore’s first review of her human rights record at the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

We note dismally that in the UPR session, Singapore government representatives has preemptively rejected recommendations to improve on key areas of human rights which include the repealing of criminal defamation legislations to ensure full enjoyment of freedom of expression. Such a stance reflected in today’s verdict shows that Singapore has a long journey ahead to transform the island state as a place that fully promotes, respects and protects human rights.

For media enquires, contact following spokespersons:

Rachel Zeng, SADPC (

Sinapan Samydorai, Think Centre (


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

As I am pleased to know that there is still hope for sanity to prevail in Singapore with your organisation’s existance, I am equally dissapointed with the focus on Yong Vui Kong’s case.
What have you all done for him?
Please save YVK from death, he really deserves another chance in life or at least a commuted sentence to life.

Comment by Jerree Pillai

We have done what we can to publicise his case and to spread awareness about MDP, something which many Singaporeans are not aware of. Our campaign for Vui Kong started in 2008, during our forum commemorating World Day Against the Death Penalty. Ravi, who is one of the founding members of SADPC, fought for Vui Kong tirelessly. He has also visited his mother in Sabah, went to several MPs in KL to appeal to them to speak out for VK. The rest of us who were unable to make frequent trips to Malaysia, carry out the ground work of advocacy, publicity and try our best to be with the family whenever they are here. This is what we have been doing and I hope it answers your question here.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

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