Singapore must withdraw threats of POFMA criminal proceedings against LFL and Singapore activists
22 January 2020
We refer to the Singapore government’s denial of Lawyers for Liberty’s (LFL) statement that prisoners in Changi prison are executed in a brutal and unlawful manner, as well as the Correction Notice under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019 (POFMA) issued to LFL demanding that we publish a correction or face criminal proceedings in Singapore.
Firstly, we absolutely stand by our statement that prisoners on death row in Changi prison are executed brutally and unlawfully by kicks to the neck whenever the rope breaks. Our statement is based upon evidence from former and current Singapore prison officers. These are officers with impeccable service records.
Secondly, POFMA is an oppressive and undemocratic law which was passed recently by Singapore amidst controversy. It has been condemned internationally as a weapon by Singapore to stifle dissent or criticism.
Thirdly, it is outrageous and unacceptable for Singapore to issue a notice under their POFMA to a Malaysian organisation such as LFL, which is operating and issuing statements on Malaysian soil. Singapore has no business interfering with the freedom of speech of Malaysian citizens making statements within our own country.
This is nothing short of an attempt to silence us and prevent the truth about the manner of executions from coming out. Singapore should learn to accept criticism. They have no monopoly over what constitutes facts and the truth. This attempt by Singapore to extend their jurisdiction to Malaysian citizens across the causeway is provocative, illegal and in breach of international law.
We will not comply with the unlawful and oppressive Correction Notice given by the Singapore government to LFL demanding that we withdraw our statement.
We further demand that the Correction Notice issued under section 11 of POFMA be unconditionally withdrawn with immediate effect by the Singapore government.
We note with concern that similar notices have been issued to Singaporean citizens and organisations, including The Online Citizen (TOC) and prominent activist Kirsten Han, and these notices should also be withdrawn.
Lawyers for Liberty