Singapore: Criminal and Human Rights Lawyer Fined $6,000 for a Poem on Death Penalty that “Scandalised the Judicary”

August 7, 2017

Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, a prominent criminal and human rights lawyer, was found guilty of contempt of court and fined $6,000 by Justice See Kee Oon in the High Court earlier today for a poem he penned. The poem, which concerned the “cruel and unjust law” (i.e. Misuse of Drugs Act) that led to the hanging of Mr Thuraisingam’s client, Ridzuan, was published on his Facebook page a few hours before Ridzuan’s execution at 6am on 19 May 2017.

Our five stars dim tonight.
Our son will be no more.
Killed at the hands of strangers.
At the orders of those who do not care.

Our five stars dim tonight.
For a cruel and unjust law.
The fate of a life, in the hands of one.
Who himself doesn’t really care.

Our five stars dim tonight.
With our million dollar men turned blind. 
Pretending not to see.
Ministers, Judges and Lawyers. 
Same as the accumulators of wealth.
Hiding in the dimness, like rats scavenging for scraps.
When does the new car come?

Our five stars dim tonight.
For a law that makes no sense.
A law that is cruel and unjust. 
Just as its makers, executors stand.
Jeffrey has died. Ridzuan is next.
Killed not in our names, but by the decree of one.

Fear not my friend, we tread through this darkness.
The sons of this soil have spoken.
Regardless of race. Regardless of language. Regardless of religion.
As our lungs shout as one, the stars will shine again!

The people have spoken.

The underlined parts were found to be in contempt of court. In the AGC’s opinion, the excerpt, when read by the average reasonable man, would be interpreted to mean that judges have subordinated their judicial duty to financial greed. The defence revealed that on 29 May, the AGC requested the Law Society to refer Mr Thuraisingam to a Disciplinary Tribunal. The Law Society who then informed Mr Thuraisingam that the AGC found his poem to be in contempt.

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/08/07/criminal-and-human-rights-lawyer-fined-6000-for-a-poem-on-death-penalty-that-scandalised-the-judicary/

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lawyer-eugene-thuraisingam-fined-s-6-000-for-contempt-of-court-9099504

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/lawyer-fined-6000-for-contempt-of-court-over-facebook-post-on-death-penalty

http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/lawyer-eugene-thuraisingam-rare-case-court-contempt

https://thuraisingam.com/

https://thuraisingam.com/our_peoples/eugene-thuraisingam/

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