The following is a press release by the organisers of the event, ‘Kenna Police How?: Your right to due process’.
Civil society event at Hong Lim Park to address police powers and due process
On 18 June, Community Action Network (CAN), Function 8 and Think Centre invite all concerned members of society to join us at Hong Lim Park for ‘Kenna Police How?: Your right to due process’.
Recent events have highlighted uncertainty among members of the public about the scope of police powers and how current procedures ensure due process. These events include Law Society President Thio Shen Yi’s February 2016 call for immediate or early access to counsel, the Benjamin Lim case, and recent police action in response to alleged breaches of the Cooling Off Day regulations.
This event has been organised to allow members of the public to share their experiences with police investigations, as well as their concerns and suggestions for how the fairness, proportionality and consistency of police action can be best ensured. Over 100 members of the public have indicated their intention to attend on Facebook, with 300 more expressing interest in the event.
“We urge more clarity about the rights of individuals in contact with police – especially vulnerable people like children or migrants,” said Kokila Annamalai, a volunteer with CAN. “When can the police archive your email or confiscate your phone? Do they need a warrant? More awareness of the scope of these powers is needed. It’s in everyone’s interests that justice is not only done, but also seen to be done.”
In January, as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations (UN), numerous UN member states made recommendations for Singapore to strengthen its protection of citizens’ rights to free expression. At the time, the Singapore delegation to Geneva affirmed its support for the UPR process and stated its commitment to protect fundamental human rights. We hope that the government will stand by its proclamations and welcome this event’s contribution to societal dialogue on advancing rights.
Among the speakers are civil society activist Vanessa Ho, who will address sex workers’ experiences with the police, Damien Chng of anti-death penalty group We Believe in Second Chances, and Function 8 member Pak Geok Choo. Members of the public are invited to create placards at the event to express their views on police accountability and their ideas for how the protection of individual rights can be achieved.
We invite you to attend this important event and to cover it for your media channel. For more information, please contact Kokila at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: 18 June 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Venue: Hong Lim Park
About Community Action Network:
Community Action Network is an NGO based in Singapore concerned about freedom of expression, and civil and political rights.
About Function 8:
Function 8 is an initiative by a group of citizens who believe that there is a need to facilitate the sharing of social, political and economic experiences of those who had, or are eager to contribute to society through reflection and civic discussion.
About Think Centre:
Think Centre (TC) is an independent NGO in Singapore that was founded in 1999. TC aims to critically examine issues related to political development, democracy, rule of law, human rights and civil society. Its activities include research, publishing, organising events and networking. It has been a member of Forum-Asia, a regional human rights organisation, since 2001.
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