• The Singapore government continues to impose wide-ranging restrictions on core civil and political rights. Criminal defamation and contempt of court charges, including “scandalizing the judiciary” are used to rein in criticism of the government and the ruling People’s Action Party. The Public Order Act 2009 mandates a permit for any cause-related assembly in a public place. At the Yale-NUS College, political protests and partisan political societies are prohibited. Singapore implemented welcome legal reforms which granted judges limited sentencing discretion in place of mandatory capital punishment for certain offenses. Singapore maintains article 377A of its penal code to criminalizes sexual acts between consenting adult men. The High Court turned aside a constitutional challenge to that provision, ruling that repeal of the law would further a societal norm that has yet to “gain currency.”
  • People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.

    A Singapore Supreme Court ruling on October 29, 2014 to uphold the country’s ban on same-sex relations between consenting adult men is a major setback for equal rights in Singapore, Human Rights Watch said today.

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