Sunday, December 15, 2013

Singapore Little India arrests. Indian worker unions and activists should protest outside Singapore Consulate General in Chennai, India

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am writing this blog with great trepidation and alarm over the condition of the Indian nationals arrested and presently in custody of Singapore Police, over the recent Little India Singapore riots of last week. 

As I write this blog, recently arrested Indian foreign workers accused of rioting in Little India area of Singapore are now being tortured in police custody of the Singapore authorities. According to their laws, these Indian nationals are not allowed to have lawyers while being interrogated. They are being detained in police custody and are being tortured daily to extract confessions.

This is a violation not only of Indian law but of international law which requires that arrested persons are allowed legal representation. This brutal abuse of Indian citizens by the Singapore government should be stopped. Singapore should not be allowed to torture Indian citizens.

Only last week Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister  has publicly stated that he will "use the full force of the law" to prosecute these people. As Singapore is literally a one party police state, under his complete control, they would anything to please him, which I fear is to brutalize them to extract confessions.

Both the Indian government and the workers of India should not tolerate this abuse of their citizens in Singapore. Under Indian law, a democracy, any person arrested has the right to have a lawyer as soon as he is arrested. This right that Indians have is being blatantly abused by the Singapore authorities. This is not something any Indian should tolerate.

I urge union leaders and human rights activists in Tamil Nadu, India from which all those arrested are from, to immediately organize demonstrations and protests outside the Singapore  Consulate General in Chennai, India to demand that those arrested are fairly treated. The address and telephone number of the Singapore Consulate General is;

Singapore Consulate General
17-A North Boag Road
T. Nagar, Chennai 600017
Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: (91) 44 2815 8207

Indians in India should force the Singapore authorities to accept the norms of civilized society and international law to make sure that they are immediately given legal representation, to demand that any statements made them without legal representation be nullified and Indian lawyers from India be allowed access to their citizens to ensure their rights are not being abused.

If any Indian interested party wishes to interview me on the fact that arrestees are being abused, I am willing to provide any information needed. I am a Singaporean by birth and now a US Citizen. I was also a former opposition politician in the island. I am also a practicing lawyer in the US.

I have personal knowledge that accused defendants will be abused in police custody. In 2008 when I was arrested in Singapore for writing a blog criticizing their legal system while physically in the island, I was kept in custody for 8 days during which time I was denied legal representation while I was daily tortured and interrogated without the assistance of counsel. This disgrace, is normal practice in the island and these Indian nationals, especially since they have no legal training, would be abused tortured very badly especially to satisfy the Prime Minister who wants them to suffer "the full force of the law".

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

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