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S’pore govt orders blocking of M’sia-based Lawyers for Liberty’s website

The website has been blocked.

Belmont Lay | January 24, 09:39 pm

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A website for a Malaysian human rights group is no longer accessible in Singapore.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore has been directed to issue access blocking orders for the website of Lawyers for Liberty.

Internet access service providers in Singapore have complied with the order to disable access for users here.

As of Friday, Jan. 24, the Lawyers for Liberty website is displaying a “This site can’t be reached” message for Singapore users.

The Ministry for Communications and Information said on Thursday, Jan. 23 its minister made IMDA issue the orders.

Access to website can be reinstated

This blocking of access was the result of Lawyers for Liberty’s “non-compliance” with a correction direction issued against a statement that appeared on its website.

In its statement on Thursday, MCI said the correction direction had “required the facts to be juxtaposed against the falsehoods, so that end-users in Singapore can read both versions and draw their own conclusions”.

“LFL (Lawyers for Liberty) chose not to comply,” said the ministry.

“The access blocking orders will ensure that the falsehoods do not continue to be communicated in Singapore without the facts placed alongside them.”

Should Lawyers for Liberty carry the correction notice required by the correction direction, the access blocking orders would be cancelled, MCI added.

Lawyers for Liberty files law suit in Malaysia against K Shanmugam

Lawyers for Liberty said it would not comply with the correction direction.

It also claimed that another prison officer, who is currently in service, has since come forward to corroborate the allegations.

Lawyers for Liberty then filed a lawsuit in the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Malaysia against Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Friday, Jan. 24.

The lawsuit is filed by Lawyers for Liberty, the group’s director Melissa Sasidaran, as well as adviser N Surendran.

Surendran also said Lawyers for Liberty will continue to keep the identities of the prison officers who gave testimony a secret so that they would not face legal action in Singapore.

Surendran, an anti-death penalty activist and former member of parliament, said on Friday that the blocking of access to Lawyers for Liberty website was a “disappointing” decision.

“It seems to me that the Singapore government is more interested in silencing us and keeping the lid on the truth about the method of execution in Changi Prison rather than getting to the truth about what is happening and take action,” he said.

Lawyers for Liberty also said that it stood by its claims that prisoners on death row at Singapore’s Changi Prison are executed brutally.

Background

Lawyers for Liberty released a press statement on Jan. 16 alleging that Singapore’s Changi Prison officers were trained to carry out executions manually in the event the rope used for hanging broke.

The Lawyers for Liberty statement alleged that prison officers were instructed to “kick the back of the neck of the prisoner with great force in order to break it”, whenever a hanging went awry and the prisoner did not die.

In response to the allegations, the Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) office issued Lawyers for Liberty a correction direction.

Three other parties, activist Kirsten Han, news platform Yahoo News, and blog The Online Citizen were also issued correction directions for spreading the allegations.

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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