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Human Rights suffer setback in Asia

December 9, 1999.

THE New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch released its annual global report Dec 9.

In the section: Asia Overview, the 516-page report has some references (see below) to Singapore. There are specific reports on some countries like Malaysia.

This is what the report says about Singapore:


The fundamental civil rights of expression, assembly, and association suffered severe setbacks during the year in Pakistan, China, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia, and judicial independence took a battering in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Religious persecution was a major issue in China, India, and Vietnam as well as elsewhere in the region.

Human Rights Developments:

Singaporean authorities continued to ban outdoor speeches and rallies, arresting opposition politician Chee Soon Juan in January for making a lunch-hour address to a crowd of businessmen, and imprisoning him for twelve days in February after he refused to pay the criminal fine levied against him for the January speech. The other veteran opposition leader in Singapore, Joshua Jeyaretnam, faced the prospect of bankruptcy as a result of punitive damages, awards, and costs assessed in defamation actions brought by Prime Minister Goh and others. The actions related to statements made by Jeyaretnam in an election eve political rally in 1997.

Defending Human Rights:

No human rights organizations were permitted to function in North Korea, Vietnam, Burma, or Singapore

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