Singapore—News outfit Yahoo Singapore has complied with the correction order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday (Jan 22).
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that based on its edit history, Yahoo Singapore amended a post on Facebook it had shared containing allegations from a human rights group in Malaysia that Singapore’s Changi Prison carried out “brutal” execution methods by adding a correction notice to the post after the direction had been issued at the instruction of Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
The correction direction had been issued under the country’s law against online falsehoods, POFMA (Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act).
CNA quotes a representative from Verizon Media, the owner of Yahoo, as saying, “People around the world rely on Yahoo as a credible and trusted news provider and we will not shy away from that responsibility.
We are a trusted platform and media brand, and believe strongly in unbiased reporting and credible news coverage.”
Local activist Kirsten Han, who had also shared the news from Malaysia’s Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), also complied with the correction order.
Ms Han amended her post to say, “CORRECTION NOTICE: This Facebook post contains false statements of fact made by Lawyers for Liberty. The Singapore Prison Service does not use any of the steps in the alleged procedure for judicial executions.
Under POFMA, I’m legally required to append the above correction notice to this post.
I originally shared this post because the allegations that were made by Lawyers For Liberty, concerning a process about which very little information is publicly available, were extremely serious and disturbing.”
She added, “In the interests of dealing with ‘fake news’, I hope that government and public agencies can be more responsive to queries from journalists and/or civil society groups when they are seeking information that can clarify matters.”
Ms Han wrote that she had asked for a comment from the Singapore Prison Service regarding LFL’s claims, but she did not get an answer.
As for The Online Citizen (TOC), it wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Jan 22), “TOC received a POFMA correction direction from the Minister of Home Affairs this morning, and has filed an application to the minister to cancel the direction.
The minister has three days to consider the application before TOC can take the matter to the court.”
In a statement released on Wednesday (Jan 22) the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “MHA states categorically that the statement by Malaysia-based Lawyers for Liberty (“LFL”) on 16 January 2020 contains untrue, baseless and preposterous allegations about the use of unlawful methods in judicial executions conducted in Changi Prison.”
MHA clarified that all executions are carried out in strict compliance with the law and that the Superintendent of the Prison and a medical doctor are present during all executions. Furthermore, as the law dictates, the Coroner always conducts an inquiry 24 hours after executions are done in order to make sure that they were carried out in the proper manner.
The statement further clarified that “the rope used for judicial executions has never broken before, and prison officers certainly do not receive any ‘special training to carry out the brutal execution method’ as alleged. Any acts such as those described in the LFL statement would have been thoroughly investigated and dealt with.”
According to MHA, “LFL has been publishing various falsehoods to seek attention in hopes of getting Malaysian prisoners, who have been convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Singapore, off the death penalty.” -/TISG
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