Tag Archives: Singapore

Stop harassing rights lawyer, Singapore govt told


The Singaporean government must stop intimidating and harassing Singapore human rights lawyer M Ravi, a rights group said.

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) chief coordinator Zaid Malek said Singaporean authorities had responded to Ravi’s outspokenness on human rights with disciplinary, police and contempt proceedings against him.

In a statement, Zaid said the action was being taken against Ravi for his staunch defence of the human rights of drug mules on death row, including many Malaysian citizens.

He said Ravi had for decades provided pro bono service to countless persons and spoken out on human rights in Singapore as well as the rights of Malaysians deprived of fair trial in Singapore.

According to LFL, Ravi faces seven professional disciplinary inquiries which could result in him being fined, suspended or disbarred, and three ongoing contempt of court proceedings, as well as separate police investigations.

“The number of pending cases launched by the government, the attorney-general and the courts is immeasurable,” Zaid said.

The proceedings include action taken against Ravi for his vigorous defence of mentally disabled Malaysian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who was executed amid international outcry last week, Zaid said.





Singapore/Malaysia: Surendran urges Singapore to drop charges against lawyer defending Malaysian on death row

August 20, 2019

International Human Rights lawyer M. Ravi speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya July 23, 2019. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

Lawyers for Liberty legal adviser N. Surendran today urged Singaporean authorities to stop persecuting lawyer M. Ravi, who is representing mentally challenged Malaysian death row inmate Nagaenthran Dharmalingam.

Singapore’s Attorney General had initiated action against Ravi by filing a complaint with the Singapore Law Society for allegedly “prejudicing the administration of justice”.

“The AG has filed a complaint on those grounds to the Singapore Law Society, which is likely to result in Ravi being barred from legal practice. In addition, contempt of court charges may also be brought against him.

“We condemn this high-handed action against M. Ravi and demand that Singapore drops all charges against him. We further demand that Singapore cease and desist from further threatening or interfering with the lawyers of the Malaysian death row prisoners.

“We also urge the Malaysian government to make urgent representations to Singapore in protest against the continual persecution and threats against the lawyers of Malaysian death row prisoners,’’ said Surendran in a statement today.

Surendran had previously likened Singapore’s treatment of those in death row to that of North Korea, claiming it has forgone norms that are observed under the international law and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.





AGC files complaint to Law Society against M Ravi for ICJmemo to Malaysian government over drug mule Nagaenthran’scase

Lawyer M Ravi speaks to ABC News Australia regarding Singapore’s latest “execution binge”

AGC files complaint to Law Society against M Ravi for ICJ memo to Malaysian government over drug mule Nagaenthran’s case


International human rights lawyer, M Ravi gets back his practising certificate after four years


Group slams charges against lawyer of Malaysian on death row in Singapore



Singapore/Malaysia: Withdraw ‘unacceptable threat’ to Surendran, S’pore told

July 16, 2019

Lawyers For Liberty has reacted sharply to what it calls “threats made by the Singapore authorities against lawyer N Surendran.”

This comes after the Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers sent a letter to its High Court saying that Surendran had made “scandalous allegations against Singapore and its legal system, including accusing Singapore of acting in total disregard of international legal norms and decent world opinion.”

“Coming from the attorney-general’s office in a formal note to the High Court, this amounts to a serious threat against Surendran,” LFL director Melissa Sasidaran said in a statement.

“Singapore is notorious for bringing contempt of court or criminal defamation charges against its critics. British author Alan Shadrake was similarly prosecuted and jailed in 2011 for making remarks on the death penalty in Singapore.”



Group accuses Singapore AG of meddling ahead of clemency plea for Malaysian on death row


Singapore denies targeting Malaysians for capital punishment

Lawyers For Liberty push for moratorium on Malaysian death row prisoners in Singapore, urge for “thorough” review on clemency rejections




https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2019/07/16/peguam-dakwa-ag-singapura-campur-tangan-usaha-tahanan-hukuman-mati-mohon-rayuan/ (MALAY)

https://www.sinarharian.com.my/article/38024/BERITA/Nasional/Singapura-digesa-tarik-balik-tuduhan-terhadap-Surendran (MALAY)

Malaysia/Singapore: Singaporean human rights lawyer seeks UN intervention against contempt charges levied upon Malaysian lawyer Arun Kasi

March 5, 2019

The recent news of Arun Kasi, a Malaysian lawyer facing contempt charges for allegedly scandalising the judiciary in relation to 2 articles he wrote on Aliran- a news  website covering issues of social importance, should come as a jolt at the heart of civil society.

The 2 articles- titled ‘How a dissenting judgment sparked a major judicial crisis’ and ‘Tommy Thomas must look into arbitration centre that sparked judicial crisis’ prompted Tommy Thomas, the Attorney General of Malaysia to institute committal proceedings in the Federal Court of Malaysia against Arun on 27th February 2019. Leave was granted by the Federal Court and the substantive hearing has been fixed for 13th March 2019 on an urgent basis.

In my view, the AG ought to reconsider his view to initiate contempt proceedings against Arun for the following reasons:

  1. The Proceedings represent an incursion into the independence of the Bar and impedes professional advocacy

Arun’s articles were written in the context of an expunction order made by the Federal Court, by which various constitutional observations made by a Court of Appeal judge in relation to an institution playing a role in administration of justice and also a direction made by the judge to the anti-corruption commission to investigate the matter were expunged. This case raises issues of serious public interest and importance, and the proceedings initiated against Arun for bringing these issues to the attention of the public seriously threatens the independence of the Bar and impedes professional advocacy.

Further, the UN Basic Principles on the Roles of Lawyers (“UNBRPL”) contains several provisions that explicitly deal with the independence of lawyers. Principle 16 of the UNBRPL sets out that the Government must: ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their duties without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference… (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognised professional duties, standards and ethics. Principle 23 grants lawyers the right to take part in public discussion on matters of the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights.







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.







Singapore: M Ravi’s HDB flat to be foreclosed – Help required

July 21, 2017

Human rights lawyer M Ravi has been hospitalised since 17 July (he is still in hospital).

On the day that he was hospitalised – he was supposed to appear in court as the bank mortgagee had sued to foreclose on his 3-room HDB flat, for the arrears of $7,452.

Although the mortgagee’s lawyers were informed by telephone on that day that he was hospitalised and a letter was sent two days later (19 July) attaching medical documentary evidence that he was unable to attend court on that day (17 July)  – the court replied on 20 July that “In the morning of 17 July 2017, Summons 2375 of 2017 was dismissed and judgement was granted to the Plaintiff”.

M Ravi has been fighting for so many constitutional law cases (such as the Hougang by-election – whether the Government must hold a by-election, the amendment to the Elected Presidency, etc); as well as fully or partly pro bono for so many cases, like Roy Ngerng’s defamation suit, Han Hui Hui’s illegal demonstration and public nuisance at Hong Lim park, several death penalty cases, etc.

I believe he has never asked for funding for himself, but only for Singaporeans – like his recent fund raising to challenge the amendment to the Elected Presidency.





Singapore: M. Ravi and another man charged with criminal trespass into law firm at People’s Park Centre

June 30, 2017

Lawyer M. Ravi and another man were charged in court on Friday (June 30) with criminal trespass into a law firm at People’s Park Centre where Ravi used to work.

The 48-year-old, who has been barred from applying for a practising certificate for two years from last October, and Lai Yew Thiam, 56, are accused of entering law firm Eugene Thuraisingam’s branch office on the fifth floor of People’s Park Centre in Chinatown at 2.16pm on Tuesday with intent to annoy a security consultant.

Ravi, whose full name is Ravi Madasamy, was knowledge management head at the firm and was based at the Chinatown office.

The Straits Times understands that he lost his job earlier this month (June) and was told to vacate the premises by June 16.

He was arrested by the police on Thursday for the alleged offence.

Two weeks ago, the High Court dismissed his application for a constitutional challenge against the elected presidency after the court found that he had no legal standing to bring the challenge.

The judge also found that recent changes to the elected presidency, as well as the entire scheme itself, which Ravi had said were unconstitutional, had been validly passed and were legally effective.

On Friday, the prosecution applied for Ravi to be remanded for psychiatric evaluation but District Judge Adam Nakhoda turned it down.

The judge said he did not believe that there was evidence to show that Ravi was unable to understand the proceedings and the charge against him.

Earlier, Ravi said that he was claiming trial to the charge by reason that he was a lawful co-tenant at the People’s Park Centre office, and paying rent.

He said, among other things, that when the police officer questioned him, he said he did not want to answer because he wanted “the right of silence as a constitutional expert”.









Singapore: LRWC Urges Law Society of Singapore to Dismiss Complaints Against Human Rights Lawyer Mr. M. Ravi | Letter

August 19, 2015

LRWC urges the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Law Society of Singapore to dismiss the complaints currently alleged against human rights lawyer Mr. M. Ravi by the Law Society of Singapore.

Mr. Ravi is respected internationally as a prominent member of the Singapore legal community specializing in cases involving human rights. Due to a relapse in Mr. Ravi’s bipolar condition, Mr. Ravi has attracted complaints from the Law Society of Singapore. These complaints are currently before the Disciplinary Tribunal. LRWC urges the Disciplinary Tribunal to honour Singapore’s international law obligations when reviewing the complaints against Mr. Ravi, and to conclude that the complaints are not sufficiently grave to warrant further disciplinary action.


Singapore: Discontinue disciplinary action against lawyer M. Ravi |LRWC Letter

August 12, 2015

LRWC has asked the Law Society of Singapore to discontinue disciplinary action against internationally known human rights lawyer M. Ravi and to take all additional steps necessary to ensuring the reissuance of his Practice Certificate.