According to witnesses who attended an anti-corruption protest held at Hong Lim Park, the Singapore Police harassed and intimidated participants by following them to their house and hauling them up for questioning.
Event organiser, rights advocates Function 8, wrote in their Facebook page confirming the harassment and intimidation by the Singapore Police.
Although Hong Lim Park is protected by legislation as the only location exempted from existing anti-protest laws, the participants were nonetheless investigated under “public nuisance”.
It is understood that the event organiser, Jolovan Wham, had already received approval from the National Parks and the event was legally legit as the police did not make any arrest or advise participants to stop despite being present since the start of the event.
On the Sunday of 13 Nov 2016, a huge number of police officers in plainclothes outnumbering the 15 attendees turned up for the event, with some recording the event with their mobile phones.
After the thirty-minute event ended, a police squad was activated to “escort” them to the nearby police station for an hour-long questioning over reasons withheld by the police. The police officers then broke the law by refusing to allow a participant to call his lawyer at the police station. There was also no mention of an alleged offence which would validate the “escort” as an illegal detention by the police.
The Singapore Police spoke to the state media claiming innocence and maintained that “there was no arrest”. It is however understood an arrest would be made if the participants did not comply to be “escorted”.
In Singapore, protests are disallowed even when approval is given. Since independence, Singapore has been under strict police laws imposed by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. After his son Lee Hsien Loong “inherited” his throne, present Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong continue to rule the country as a dictatorship.