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Arrests Focus Spotlight on Anti-Free Speech Laws

The arrests of three demonstrators in Singapore who were protesting the plight of transgender students highlights the extent of free speech restrictions in the city-state. Authorities arrested the trio on January 26 as they picketed outside…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
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Mandatory Order to Install Surveillance Software Infringes on Child Privacy, Expression

Singapore’s Education Ministry has made it mandatory for secondary school students to install tracking and remote access software on all laptops issued under a national digital literacy program, and on students’ personal devices that are used to…
A student uses a laptop for schoolwork while participating in remote learning, September 7, 2020.
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Halt Imminent Execution of Syed Suhail Bin Syed Zin; Abolish Death Penalty

The Singapore authorities should immediately halt the planned execution of Syed Suhail Bin Syed Zin this Friday, September 18 for drug trafficking offenses dating back to August 2011. Singapore’s High Court found Syed guilty of drug trafficking in…
People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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Use of Capital Punishment Out of Step with Global Standards

Using Zoom video conferencing, a Singaporean judge on May 15 remotely sentenced a man to death by hanging. Punithan Genasan, 37, was found complicit in drug trafficking by coordinating 2 couriers to move 28.5 grams of heroin in 2011. Genasan denied…
People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.
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Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Moratorium on Executions Needed as a Step to Abolition

Singapore authorities have taken another life with the execution of Ghanaian Bill Agbozo for transporting 1.63 kilograms of methamphetamine. Agbozo, who was arrested on April 5, 2013 at Changi Airport, was hanged on Friday after his…
People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.
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Government Hurdle for International Corporate Sponsors Leads to Local Business Support

Pink Dot, Singapore’s annual event bringing people together in support of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, proved extra special this year when over 100 local businesses sponsored the gathering. This year,…
A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Court Convicted Obioha of Marijuana Trafficking

The death penalty will claim another victim in Singapore when Chijioke Stephen Obioha, who is from Nigeria, is put to death at dawn on November 18. The Court of Appeals rejected a last minute appeal today, clearing the way for the execution to go forward…
Anti-death penalty activists place candles outside Changi prison in Singapore December 2, 2005.
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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A couple is currently on trial in Singapore for allegedly starving their domestic worker to the point where she weighed only 29 kilograms (64 pounds). The domestic worker, Thelma Gawidan, who is from the Philippines, says she endured more than a year of…
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As uncomfortable and politically sensitive as it may be, the road to ending AIDS in the United States runs through the criminal justice system. The groups at highest risk for HIV are those most entangled with the criminal justice system. Sex workers, men…
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And Tango Makes Three is a children’s book about two adult male penguins who hatch an egg and raise a youngster. It is based on the true story of two penguins, Roy and Silo, of New York’s Central Park Zoo. And, in the view of Singapore’s National Library…
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In Singapore, blogging dissatisfaction with government policies by insinuating corruption on the part of high officials is a surefire way to get hit with a defamation suit and to lose your job.  But it’s also a quick route to celebrity, as Roy Ngerng Yi…