Singapore: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Government Critic
May 29, 2011, 3:34 am
Filed under: Singapore

(New York, May 27, 2011) – The Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the author Alan Shadrake’s contempt of court sentence for “scandalizing the judiciary” is a major setback for free expression in Singapore, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges should be dropped, Human Rights Watch said.

On May 27, 2011, the appeals court upheld British national Shadrake’s original sentence of six weeks in prison and a S$20,000 (US$16,000) fine. He had been charged for the allegation in his 2010 book, Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, that mandatory death penalty decisions were not always equitably applied in Singapore. He contended that the justice system was subject to political and economic factors, including pressure from the ruling People’s Action Party. At Shadrake’s appeal on April 11, the prosecutor contended that he had “transgressed the limits of free speech and fair criticism and maligned the entire judiciary.”

“The prosecution of Alan Shadrake for doing nothing more than calling for legal reform is a devastating blow to free speech in Singapore,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “More broadly, until the government releases its iron grip on basic freedoms, the Singaporean people will remain all the poorer.”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Shadrake’s arrest, detention, trial, and appeal, please visit:


For more information, please contact:
In Bangkok, Phil Robertson (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406 (mobile); or
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-7908-728-333 (mobile); or
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile); or
In New York, Mickey Spiegel (English): +1-212-216-1229; or


3 Comments so far
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[…] 29, 2011: Human Rights Watch statement; Joint statement by Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) and Think […]

Pingback by Author of death penalty book arrested by Singapore police day after book launch « Jacob 69er

The Singapore judiciary is a disgrace. They all have a bias towards the prosecution and government so they can keep their highly paid jobs. Contrary to what the government says their is NO FREE SPEECH in Singapore. What ever happened to reporting without “fear or favour”

Comment by Jim Connor

[…] are against capital punishment – Rachel Zeng: Singapore: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Government Critic – Rachel Zeng: Joint statement by Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) and Think Centre on […]

Pingback by Daily SG: 30 May 2011 » The Singapore Daily

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