Police investigating activist, 23, who flipped off police camera at Hong Lim Park

She posted the photograph on Facebook in November 2019.

Jane Zhang | September 16, 2020, 03:49 PM

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In November 2019, a local activist named Averyn Thng posted a photograph on Facebook of her pointing her middle fingers toward a police camera in Hong Lim Park's Speakers' Corner.

More than six months later, a police complaint was lodged against her, and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) is now investigating the situation.

Posted photo on Facebook about suffering

In her Facebook post on Nov. 6, 2019, Thng wrote that people are suffering — or even dying — from issues such as mental health problems, racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, fatphobia, lack of access to healthcare, and climate change.

The 23-year-old added that the suffering is "upheld by militarised surveillance and the criminalisation of fighting for a better world".

"This is capitalism. This is power. This is oppression," she wrote.

The photograph accompanying the post showed her standing at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park, wearing a camouflage jacket and bottoms, and looking up at a police camera while holding up her middle fingers.

Speaking to Mothership, Thng said that when she posted the photo, she did consider that there might be some kind of backlash or consequence.

After posting the photo and not facing any backlash or police intervention for a couple of weeks, she was "incredibly surprised" to find out on Sep. 9 that a police report had been made against her on May 16, over six months after she posted the photo on Facebook.

Thng shared that it was implied to her that a "concerned member of the public" was alarmed that she might be "inciting tensions".

Jolovan Wham and others show solidarity

Thng told Mothership that she had to go down to the police station to give her statement:

"I spent about an hour and a half being questioned on just about every aspect of the post and what my intentions and purposes were regarding making them."

On Sep. 11, activist Jolovan Wham shared a Facebook post of himself and a group of other individuals who went down to Tanglin Police Division to show their support for Thng.

Responding to Mothership's queries, SPF confirmed that a police report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.

"I’d like to state for the record that I do not regret speaking up and speaking out, and I never will," Thng told Mothership.

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Top photo via Thng's and Wham's Facebook pages.