Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) has re-filed its civil suit against Singapore Home Minister K Shanmugam over a notice issued under the island republic’s fake news law on LFL’s expose of reportedly brutal execution methods in Changi prison.
LFL also hit out at the ministry over a press statement yesterday in which it said the group’s initial suit, which it called baseless, was struck out by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
“In fact, LFL’s civil suit had simply expired as it was not served yet upon Shanmugam,” its advisor N Surendran said.
“The KL High Court had on Sept 21, 2020 allowed LFL to re-file the civil suit against Singapore, which shows that the suit was far from being ‘baseless’.”
The order was issued to LFL under Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act or Pofma.
In a statement today, Surendran said Singapore’s home ministry had also insinuated that the court papers were never served upon Shanmugam when in fact the attorney-general in a letter to LFL on Feb 13 this year had refused to accept service of the papers.
“In short, Shanmugam and the Singapore government were desperately trying to avoid or delay service of the court papers upon him,” Surendran added.
Urging Singapore to disclose “the real truth” about its execution methods, he said the city-state had refused LFL’s repeated requests for a former prison officer who supplied evidence of the alleged brutality to be granted immunity from prosecution.
“Singapore has refused to grant immunity to enable this whistleblower to give evidence in the Singapore courts,” he said.
“In short, Singapore has done everything possible to ensure that the truth about the brutal execution methods in Changi prison remains buried.
“We will be vigorously prosecuting this civil suit, which is intended to protect the freedom of expression of Malaysians against encroachment by a foreign country.”