Peter Lloyd – new charges and dog whistling

July 25, 2008

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) correspondent, Peter Lloyd, is now facing three additional and, as yet, unspecified charges following a brief court appearance in Singapore today [Friday 25 July]

Peter was arrested last week and charged with trafficking about a gram of methamphetamine (ice). According to media reports he looks worried, gaunt and like a “broken man”.

And who wouldn’t. Facing 20 years in a Singapore jail and up to 15 lashes with a heavy rattan cane, would make even the staunchest crack addict blanche.

What troubles me more though, is the way this case is being used to attack the ABC and dog whistle Australian racism.

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Gopalan Nair and Peter Lloyd – update, no release

July 22, 2008

The troublesome [to the Singapore government] Mr Gopalan Nair is in all sorts of trouble. He is not allowed to leave Singapore.

Neither is Australian journalist, Peter Lloyd

Mr Nair is a citizen of the United States, but he has been denied the return of his passport. His lawyer has withdrawn from the case and Mr Nair’s future is in limbo.

Bad news.  Another day in court

Meanwhile, Peter Lloyd is facing drug importation charges, and he’s not going anywhere soon. In Singapore drug offences carry heavy penalties.

Unfortunately for Mr Nair and Mr  Lloyd, “justice” in Singapore grinds along slowly.

Gopalan’s US passport is being kept from him and Peter Lloyd is in Changi prison with an eye infection. This is not good for either of them.

Meanwhile Cameron to meed Lloyd and the Australian foreign minister says “Oh well”

I wish both men the best of luck. If you’re not across these stories, backtrack:

Tight chain

Self destruct

Gopalan Nair – a new charge and a tight chain

June 17, 2008

Singapore blogger, lawyer and general pain in the ass of the Singapore government, Gopalan Nair was back in court Monday. He is now facing new charges and his bail conditions mean that he has to report to the police station every morning at 9am and can be held there all day.

His life is on hold, but there is virtual silence from the blogosphere. What’s happened to all of the hype about freedom of expression.

Turn your back until it’s your turn to be persecuted, then wonder why you’re alone.

Do not forget the case of Gopalan Nair. Singapore today, where next?

Chia Ti Lik’s update 17 June 2008

Second charge for Gopalan Nair

June 13, 2008

The blogging critic of Singapore’s government, Gopalan Nair, was back in court yesterday (Thursday 12 June) facing a charge of insulting a public servant.

As a result of yesterday’s hearing, Mr Nair is now facing a second charge. The charges relate to emails sent by Nair to two Singapore judges, one of them in 2006.

Mr Nair held a press conference after his court appearance yesterday and said he would fight the charges. He’s back in court on Monday 16 June.

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Sedition in Singapore – as easy as pi

June 10, 2008

I’m keen to keep up with the Gopalan Nair case, so today I visited Chia Ti Lik’s blog. Ti Lik is Nair’s lawyer and so fairly close to the case.

The most recent post is one I’ve already linked to, dated 5th June. But I started to re-read it and realised that Nair is likely to face a sedition charge when he appears in court again on Thursday 12 June.

Singapore’s sedition law is a product of old colonial rule – as is so much of “law” in former colonies – and it had fallen into disuse until recently. It was used in 2005 against a small group of bloggers who were allegedly inciting racism against Malays. This was apparently the first time since the mid-60s.

The sedition law was originally used to prosecute alleged communists in the early post-war years. The Cold War was very useful then and it still is today.

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Gopalan Nair – bloglines update

June 6, 2008

The Gopalan Nair case is beginning to attract some attention. is a good place to get updates. A 6 June update quotes a US Embassy official as saying:

‘The embassy continues to follow the case very closely. The United States consistently advocates freedom of expression, including the Internet.’ [Yeah right.]

A number of other Singapore-related blogs are also commenting quite frequently.

The States Times blog suggests that human rights have been abolished in the Singapore legal system.

Freshly minted Attorney-General Walter Woon had declared human rights is “all hyprocrisy and fanaticism,” and posited “that we should not confuse public law with politics, and that some people assume that their definition of human rights is the decision of the rest of humanity.”

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Still not much news about Gopalan Nair

June 6, 2008

I’ve had a bit of time this morning to look for more news items about Gopalan Nair – the blogger arrested and charged with defamation in Singapore now out on bail. Nothing in the New York Times or the Guardian. The Sydney Morning Herald is carrying the AFP wire story I referred to in an earlier post.

There’s some coverage in the Straits Times, which claims it is “independent” even though the government-owned investment company Singapore Holdings is the largest shareholder.

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Gopalan Nair free on bail – still facing charges

June 6, 2008

I just saw an AFP news feed, 8 hours ago [around 7 on Thursday evening Sydney time], saying the Singapore blogger Gopalan Nair has been released. As of now I can’t find any coverage in the NZ Herald or the Dominion Post.

Nair posted $5000 bail and walked out of prison after four days, but without his US passport. Nair arrived in Singapore on 25 May and challenged authorities to come and get him from his hotel.

He had posted his room and phone numbers on Singapore Dissident [link inside]. Gopalan’s charged with insulting a judge in a defamation case involving two of his political allies. His blog, regularly criticises the government.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is protesting Nair’s arrest. He was in Singapore to cover the defamation trial involving Democratic Party activists Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin.

That trial is also a story worth following as Nair is trapped in Singapore and now facing serious defamation charges himself.

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