Monday, December 16, 2013

Singapore Little India riots of Dec 8, 2013. Police detain and interrogate 3700 innocent Indian citizens

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's  state controlled media has earlier reported that some 300 Indian foreign workers were involved in the Dec 8, 2013 Sunday riots in an area called Little India. In fact so far only about 30 have been charged making the claim of 300 a gross exaggeration by itself!

But what is even more shocking, high handed and gross abuse of police power is the admission by them that as many as 3,700 innocent Indian citizens working in Singapore have been detained and interrogated obviously with the object of finding more rioters.

Please see Singapore state controlled newspaper Straits Times of Dec 11, 2013 titled "Little India Riot: Eight more riot suspects held, 24 workers charged."

The report reads " At a briefing for the media yesterday, the police said investigations were in full swing with 3,700 foreign workers from 10 dormitories across the island interviewed so far".

The Indian government should note this is a blatant abuse of the rights of their citizens. Singapore police are blatantly violating the rights of these Indian citizens.

The law specifically requires that every person has the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. By law the Singapore police have no right to interrogate 3,700 Indian citizens working in Singapore who are all totally innocent of any crime.

By their arrogance and abuse of police powers, they are telling us that they can simply do anything they want, including detaining and questioning Indian citizen workers simply because they are Indian workers and for no other reason.

What they are saying is that just because Indian citizens are suspected of rioting in Little India, they have a right to detain and interrogate every single Indian citizen foreign worker in Singapore even though they have no evidence against any one of them, in the hope that they could find some!

This is a gross abuse of police powers.

It is very clear that when the Singaporean police detained and interrogated 3,700 Indian citizens working in Singapore, they did so only because they were Indian citizens, not because they had even an iota of evidence against any one of them.

In effect, what this alarming misuse of police powers means is that no Indian citizen is safe from police harassment, questioning and interrogation in Singapore. They could simply round up as many Indian citizens just because they are Indian citizens, detain and interrogate them anytime they want, for no reason whatsoever.

It is quite clear that these 3,700 Indian citizens who were detained and interrogated were names the police obtained from Singapore government work permit records. They were simply and randomly selected for the indignity of detention and interrogation.

Singapore island, a one party police state, should be sent a clear message by the Indian government, Indian workers unions and activists that they will not tolerate Singapore government highhandedness and their police force abusing the rights of Indian citizens in Singapore. This random detention and interrogation without probable cause should cease and desist immediately.

Indian workers in Chennai India should start organizing protests and demonstrations outside Singapore Consulate General against this random unjust detention and interrogation of thousands of innocent Indian workers.

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


Linda Kosmanto said...

I hope Lee's storm troopers know the difference between "Indian" and "Indonesian"?

Anonymous said...

The real racial classification in Singapore is White, Chinese and Other.

The Chinese feel inferior to the Whites and superior to the Others.

The Indians/Indonesians/Banglas/Pinoys will continue to be mistreated as always.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said,

"The real racial classification in Singapore is White, Chinese and Other".

I assume you are a Singaporean of Indian or Malay descent. It is funny you say this but seem resigned to accept this injustice and do nothing about it.

You are unfortunately a standard Singaporean