The following was posted by Front Line Defenders, an international foundation for the protection of human rights defenders, on 13 February 2013.
Singapore: Update – Trial of human rights defenders to take place from 4 to 8 March 2013
Human rights defenders Messrs He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang, Liu Xiangying, and Wang Xian Jie will go on a joint trial from 4 to 8 March 2013.
He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang Liu Xiangying, and Wang Xian Jie are human rights defenders who were employed by the state controlled public transport operator SMRT Ltd. They are currently facing charges of inciting an illegal strike among bus drivers, and could be sentenced to a fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (approx €1,250), a 12-month prison sentence or both.
He Jun Ling and Liu Xiangying revealed last week that were assaulted by police officials while they were held in custody in December 2012. According to the information received, He Jun Ling was interrogated from 5am to 1pm, during which time he was locked in a small room, handcuffed, and beaten in the stomach. Liu Xiangying reported that an official threatened him, stating that “they can dig a hold and bury him. No one will be able to find him.” He was also handcuffed to a chair and beaten in his neck and the left side of his body.
Front Line Defenders expresses serious concern at the reported ill-treatment of the human rights defenders during police custody and calls for an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation, as well as appropriate action to be taken against the police officials involved. Front Line Defenders also reiterates its call on the authorities in Singapore to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against the human rights defenders, as it is believed that the charges are solely motivated by their legitimate and peaceful activities in defense of human rights.
For more information on this case, please see Front Line Defenders’ urgent appeal dated 5 December 2012.
“I Have Ways to Make You Confess”, Lianian Films, January 28, 2013.
“Do You Know I can Dig a Hole and Bury You?”: Former SMRT Bus Drivers Allege Police Brutality , Workfair, January 28, 2013.