The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for Singapore authorities to stop investigating those who attended the vigil for death penalty inmate S. Prabagaran. It asks for the government to stop harassing activists or denying them of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.

In Jul 2017, a few activists took part in a candlelight vigil and were told by the Police that it was ok for them to stay as long as they did not light any more candles. They confiscated photos and whatever was left of the candles.

It was only after a month that the Police summoned the activists for questioning and slapped travel restrictions on them.

In response, Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at HRW said: “The Singapore government seems frightened even by a peaceful candlelight vigil to support the relatives of a condemned man… Once again Singapore’s draconian restrictions on public assemblies are being used to violate the rights of people to engage in peaceful protests…

Both the belated criminal investigation and the travel ban have all the hallmarks of a harassment campaign against those who dare to peacefully criticize the government… The Singapore government needs to end this dubious investigation, recognize that peaceful protest is part and parcel of the democratic process, and amend the Public Order Act to respect the right to freedom of assembly.”

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