White Paper Condemns the Repression of Political Freedoms in Singapore

LONDON, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - Ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit that will take place in Singapore on 12-14th November, Amsterdam & Peroff today issued a White Paper condemning the erosion of political freedoms in Singapore.

The White Paper documents the repression of political freedoms in Singapore and outlines how the Government of Singapore, under the leadership of the People's Action Party (PAP), has monopolized the state's apparatus to its own benefit. The result has been the denial of basic democratic rights and freedoms.

Amsterdam & Peroff are an international law firm representing pro bono Dr. Chee Soon Juan, the leader of one of Singapore's most important opposition parties - the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). The case of Dr Chee Soon Juan is examined in detail. As leader of the Singapore Democratic Party, Dr Chee has been repeatedly sued, charged, and sentenced ever since his first political act of opposition. He is recognized internationally as a defender of political freedoms and has received the Defender of Democracy Award from the Parliamentarians for Global Action (http://www.pgaction.org/).

The White Paper notes that ever since Singapore gained internal self-government in 1959, it has been ruled by the PAP which has won control of Parliament in every election. The government has solidified its near monopoly on the political machinery of the state by undermining the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Singapore through the passage of unconstitutional domestic laws. The combination of a compliant judiciary, a media silenced through state ownership and the ever-present threat of defamation and libel suits have created a climate for the suppression of political freedoms. Recent legislative developments with the enactment in April 2009 of the Public Order Act have consolidated further the authority of the ruling PAP over the political opposition.

The White Paper calls upon foreign governments, NGOs, and the media to put pressure on the Government of Singapore to act on the demands of the political opposition as well as for:

    
    -   APEC leaders attending the November 12-14 Summit in Singapore to meet
        with representatives of civil society in Singapore, including
        Dr. Chee, leader of the SDP;

    -   ASEAN to establish a viable Human Rights Commission;

    -   The charges against Dr Chee and other members of the political
        opposition to be dropped;

    -   A campaign for an independent and impartial judiciary in Singapore;
    

The White Paper is available at: http://www.robertamsterdam.com

SOURCE AMSTERDAM & PEROFF

For further information: For further information: For press inquiries please contact: Katy Epstein, Amsterdam & Peroff, E-mail: katy.epstein@amperlaw.com, Cell. Phone: +44(0)7920729513

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