Monday, November 26, 2007

The law being abused to punish Dr. Chee

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please read the SDP website extract below on Dr. Chee's persecution yet again.

This is another instance of the dictatorial Singapore Government blatantly misusing the law to silence dissent. In cases where there are multiple charges which are related and similar, the court should hear all cases at a single trial, not hear one charge at a time and try the person over and over again after lengthy intervals in between.

This way of trying the first charge, sending the defendants to jail; then after the defendants have served sentence and several months or years later, try them on another charge, send them to jail again; then wait several months or years for the next trial, consecutively for 8 charges is unjust and deliberately cruel. It is against normal criminal procedure. When the charges are similar in nature, the proper, decent and fair procedure is to try all cases at one time, and deliver a fair verdict for all at once, so the defendants can serve their sentences and be free. With what the government is doing, these 2 defendants are going have to have these impending trials hovering over their heads for a very long period of time! This is neither just nor legal. It is plain and simple illegal!

I hope the free world is watching and reading my blog to see the depths to which this administration will go, unashamedly to silence dissent by misusing the law.

Sylvia Lim of the Workers Party and Nominated MP. You are a lawyer. What are you doing about this blatant misuse of the law before your very eyes.

People of Singapore and the free world. Do not let this government get away with this misuse of the law before your very eyes. Stand up now. State your protest.

The free world if you are watching. Please help these Singaporeans whose rights are being trampled on.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Singapore Democratic Party

Chee's trial for speaking in public begins tomorrowSingapore Democrats26 Nov 07. Dr Chee Soon Juan will be back in court tomorrow to face charges for speaking in public with a permit. Mr Yap Keng Ho is the other defendant.

The two men are charged for speaking at the Woodlands MRT Station on 8 Apr 06 during the elections period. This is the second of a total of eight charges.

In Nov last year Dr Chee, Mr Yap and Mr Gandhi Ambalam were convicted of a similar charge for speaking at the Yishun town centre, also during the election period. The three served prison sentences of five weeks, ten days and three weeks respectively.

In all the eight incidents Dr Chee was selling the SDP's newspaper, The New Democrat, with party members and supporters in the run up to the general elections held in May 06. The defendants will make the case, as they did in the previous trial, that the charges are politically motivated and that the police, as with cases involving political issues, are acting at the behest of the PAP Government.

The courts did not want to consider this argument even though the defendants have evidence that the police allow PAP and its affiliated organisations to conduct political activities in public while prohibiting opposition and NGO groups to do likewise. Also street vendors often verbally advertise their wares to potential buyers.

And yet when the SDP does the same, it is prosecuted. The only difference is that Dr Chee is advertising and selling The New Democrat which focuses on political issues. But the rule of law and the Constitution categorically states that every citizen must be treated equally under the law. To prosecute the Dr Chee and Mr Yap for acts that other citizens widely and openly conduct is discrimination Worse, the discrimination is against the PAP's opponents – and during the elections to boot where parties are trying to reach out to the electorate.

Without the ability to effectively communicate with supporters during election time especially when the media is owned and run by the PAP Government, how are opposition parties going to succeed at the polls? The courts have, however, repeatedly ignored such arguments.

The hearing will take place at Subordinate Court No. 15 at 9:30 am tomorrow.

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