singapore blogger war!!! Free Gopalan Nair! (新加坡的部落客戰爭)

A group of activists (including myself, Seelan Palay) and SDP members gathered outside the Central Police Station at Cantonment Road and held a vigil for Mr Gopalan Nair who is under detention for allegedly sending emails insulting the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General.

Mr Nair, a former Singaporean and now US citizen, was arrested last Saturday evening in his room at the Broadway Hotel at Serangoon Road.

He had posted on his blog comments about Mr Lee Kuan Yew using the legal system to achieve his political aim. Mr Nair, however, says that he did not send email to the AG and SG.

Mr Nair has been remanded by the police for investigations and his counsel Mr Chia Ti ik has not been able to see him. US embassy officials are said to be keeping a close watch on the matter.

The SDP is concerned that Mr Nair will be put under duress to make self-incriminating statements. The Singapore Democrats call on the police to expedite their investigations and charge Mr Nair if they have any evidence. He should then be released on bail. Until then, the prisoner should have access to counsel.

Such denial of access to counsel is an abomination of the criminal justice system which the supposedly First World Government should be ashamed of.

The activists gathered outside the police station from 7:30 pm. A few new faces joined the group to offer moral support. One of them, who is back in Singapore for a holiday, said he had been following events on the SDP website said he wanted to come down to show his support.

Mr Nair’s arrest has been reported widely by news agencies. The SDP understands that some of the lawmakers in the US have been alerted to the situation.

The group dispersed at 11 pm.

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