Blogger Han Hui Hui found little support from netizens when she reported that she was left bruised and bleeding after she was forcibly removed from a hearing held by the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods last week.
Han, who attended the final day of hearings on 29 April, disrupted the proceedings by holding up an image of the cover of a book, as historian Thum Ping Tjin was delivering his testimony in front of the Committee, which included Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
The book cover image Han was holding up is from a book entitled “Authoritarian Rule of Law – Legislation, Discourse and Legitimacy in Singapore”, written by Minister Shanmugam’s first wife, Jothie Rajah.
Parliament staff confiscated Han’s papers and told her to leave the chambers but she refused to do so. Insisting that she was holding “blank papers”, Han was heard saying: “No, these are just blank papers. Look, I’m just trying to write my notes here … I don’t want to miss his hearing,” she said. “I want to follow his hearing which is why I purposely came here.”
She reportedly added: “I want to sit here because I want to follow the hearing…What else you want from me? I already give you my papers…What did I do wrong? Can you give me an official paper to say I cannot stay?”
A female staff member responded, “Either you walk out on your own or I bring you out.” to which Han replied, “I’m not going.” She was then physically lifted out of the chambers by three female staff members.
Yesterday, Han shared on her Facebook page that she was left bruised and bleeding from the episode. Asking why she was “manhandled” and whether this is abuse of power like what “that dishonest and dishonorable son’s siblings said,” Han shared a photo from the incident and wrote:
“As you can see in this photo, they pulled up my shirt while manhandling me into the room…
“My back has a few scratches while my arms were bruised. There was some bleeding as the skin tear and they also repeatedly dropped me on the floor, which is why they won’t show the video clips of what really happened in the Parliament.
“I’m not sure what is wrong with that piece of paper?
Is it illegal to hold a piece of paper in Parliament?
Why manhandle me over a piece of paper?
“Is it like what his first wife said, an authoritarian rule of law?
Or is it like what that dishonest and dishonorable son’s siblings said?
An abuse of power?”
Attaching another photo, she added:
“As you can see in this photo, the size of my arms compared to the officers…
“After I gave the police my writing materials, they refused to let me listen to the hearing and manhandled me out of the room. There were three police officers, one grabbed my left arm, the other on my right arm and a third on my legs.”
Instead of receiving wide support, Han was flamed by several netizens who asserted that she deserved to have been dragged out of the chambers given her “antics”.
Some netizens also asked Han to go back to Malaysia, her native country. The blogger who grew up in Singapore was granted citizenship in 2010.
One netizen expressed surprise that others criticised Han for her actions:
This is not the first time Han has alleged mistreatment by the authorities. In September 2014, Han was among a small group of people who were arrested for organising an illegal protest and for causing a public nuisance. She was duly convicted and fined for the offence.
In February last year, Ms Han alleged that the Singapore Prisons Services mistreated her when she was in the prison lock-up during her temporary custody for the hearing of the CPF protest. The Ministry of Home Affairs later dismissed her allegations of prison treatment as ‘baseless and false’.