I refer to the article “Video shows senior was not restrained in police custody” (Straits Times, Mar 17).

It states that “Video footage from closed-circuit television cameras and cameras worn by police officers show that Madam Josephine Savarimuthu was not restrained by police at any point in time while in their custody.

The police said in a statement yesterday that they have invited the family of the 73-year-old woman to view the footage at their convenience.

They added that the video footage also showed that Madam Savarimuthu was alert, coherent and communicative when in police custody and did not appear to be distressed.

In a Straits Times Forum letter published on Wednesday, Madam Gertrude Simon wrote that her mother, Madam Savarimuthu, was handcuffed and had leg restraints on when she was moved between the police station, Changi Women’s Prison and the court.

Madam Simon, 55, had, in an interview with The Straits Times, added that her mother – who lives alone – was also stressed and overwhelmed throughout the ordeal.

The authorities, in a statement on Wednesday, said that only in her transfer to the prison was Madam Savarimuthu restrained at the hands and legs – in line with standard Singapore Prison Service operating procedures.
Madam Savarimuthu was arrested after she lodged a police report at a neighbourhood police centre.

While processing her report, the police officer discovered that there was an outstanding warrant of arrest against her issued by the court last year for failing to attend court relating to a town council summons.”

I would like to applaud the police in this action of transparency, to invite the family to view the CCTV footage.

Since Han Hui Hui’s account of what happened when she was in the High Court and State Courts’ lock-ups is different from the CCTV footage cited by the Ministry of Home Affairs – why not invite Han Hui Hui’s family to view the CCTV footage as well, so that Singaporeans can know without any doubt, that Han Hui Hui was lying?

(“Han Hui Hui’s allegations of prison treatment ‘baseless and false’: MHA” , Channel NewsAsia, Mar 14 – which said “MHA said on Tuesday the Singapore Prisons Service (SPS) interviewed the officers involved and reviewed the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and documents on Ms Han’s custody. The ministry added that it takes all allegations seriously and will investigate them thoroughly, but will also “vigorously defend our officers from baseless attacks to ensure the integrity of our law enforcement agencies is not undermined””).

In this connection, according to the article “Han Hui Hui challenges authorities to release CCTV footage where she alleged she was mistreated during searches” (Mothership.sg, Mar 15) – “Following MHA’s statement, Han made multiple Facebook posts challenging the authorities to release CCTV footage of her during the events leading up to and during her lock-up.

She claims there were four searches conducted on her and four corresponding CCTV footage of that. She is also claiming that there are five CCTV videos of her during her lock-up including one of her supposed solitary confinement”.

Leong Sze Hian

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