More grim news from Singapore. Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan was sentenced to 12 days in jail on Monday 2 June. He was found guilty of contempt of court during his own defamation trial.
According to a report in the AFR [4 June p.53], it was a “theatrical performance”:
Chee said justice in Singapore had been “kicked”, “raped” and “quartered”. I can’t link to the story because it’s PPV.
Chee and his sister, Chee Siok Chin, are also facing longer jail terms and heavy fines for speaking in public without a permit. He is bankrupt, so very likely to go to jail.
In my view the Chees would be political detainees – or as Amnesty International might put it, they’d be “prisoners of conscience”, like Soon Juan was in 1999.
This 1999 Amnesty International Report highlights the beginning of Chee Soon Juan’s long battle with the Singapore government.
Amnesty International today expressed serious concern at the seven day imprisonment of Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the opposition Singaporean Democratic Party (SDP), for “speaking in public without a licence”.
“Chee Soon Juan’s case shows once again how an array of laws continues to undermine Singaporeans’ right to freedom of expression,” said Amnesty International today. (read Amnesty report)
I found a story brief on the Straits Times site also dated 4 June which indicates they decided not to appeal and could be in custody already. No link, PPV:
SINGAPORE Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin have decided not to appeal the rulings against them for contempt of court. Chee, 46, and his 42-year- old sister said in a statement on their party website yesterday that they will report to the High Court at noon today to begin serving their time in jail.