No dissident thoughts allowed in Singapore
Photo Credit: AFP Brendan Smialowski

No dissident thoughts allowed in Singapore

After months of investigations, Singapore police finally dropped a bombshell at the end of November: social worker and activist Jolovan Wham would be charged for organizing public assemblies without a permit, vandalism and refusing to sign police statements.

Wham, who has spent his career as a social worker fighting for the rights of low-wage migrant workers, has been investigated multiple times by the police for various events deemed to be “illegal” under Singapore’s restrictive Public Order Act.

Most of the investigations dragged on for months, with little information or updates from authorities before ending just as abruptly as they had begun or with “stern warnings” that have since been ruled by a High Court judge to have no legal effect.

The Singapore Police Force’s press release announcing the charges said Wham had been “recalcitrant” and repeatedly shown “blatant disregard for the law” in organizing or participating in “illegal public assemblies.”


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