Civil society groups and concerned individuals have released a statement calling for an independent inquiry following allegations by former SMRT bus drivers of police brutality during their time in custody. The men were arrested for participating in an ‘illegal strike’ on 26 and 27 November 2012 and are currently facing criminal charges. The statement was sent to the Singapore Police Force and copied to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Independent Inquiry Needed

January 29, 2013

SINGAPORE – We, the undersigned Civil Society Groups and members, are concerned about allegations of police brutality and harassment of the four ex-SMRT drivers who are out on bail. He Jun Ling and Liu Xiang Ying have reported that they were assaulted and intimidated during police investigations. [1]

According to He Jun Ling, he was handcuffed and punched by an officer. Liu Xiang Ying alleges that he was handcuffed to a chair, then punched and slapped. These allegations have cast serious doubt on the credibility and veracity of the ex-driversʼ statements to the police and the entire investigation process.

Article 14 of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, of which Singapore is a party to, states that ʻno person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.ʼ As matters pertaining to the Singapore Police Force fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, we urge them to take the workersʼ allegations seriously and conduct a full and independent inquiry.

Furthermore, we understand that the four men have also been harassed by unidentified persons since their release from custody, and that a police report has been made to investigate the matter. [2]

In the spirit of fairness and transparency, we hope the police will respond to this letter, and a dialogue can be started on the treatment of migrant workers as well as the processes involved in police investigations.

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign (SADP)
Function 8
We Believe In Second Chances
Project X
Think Centre
Workfair Singapore
Ravi Philemon
Isrizal Mohamed Isa
Melissa Tsang
Vincent Law
Jeffrey Chua
Lim Syl-vyn
Basil Lee
Jacqueline Tan
Wee Kim Hong
Ajit Kumar Hazra
Fu Yongha
Paul Anantharajah Tambyah
Tarani Premchand Deepchand

[1] See ‘I Have Ways To Make You Confess’, (accessed January 28, 2013).

[2] See ‘Harrassed and Intimidated – SMRT Bus Drivers and NGO Volunteer File Police Report’, (accessed January 28, 2013).


Categories: SMRT

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