Amnesty International stated that "Singapore has thrown Alan Shadrake in prison solely for exercising his basic right of free speech".
The Anti Death Penalty Asia Network - ADPAN - is shocked that Alan Shadrake is now facing a term of imprisonment for giving his opinion on why the death penalty is wrong in Singapore. An opinion that goes to the heart of the universally accepted understanding of freedom of expression.ADPAN an independent and growing network with almost 60 members from 23 countries including Singapore works for an end to the death penalty across the region and is calling for Alan Shadrake's release.
Mr. Shadrake, was convicted of contempt after he wrote about the use of hanging to execute drug traffickers and murderers in Singapore. He turned himself in at the High Court after losing his appeal against a six-week sentence, the toughest ever imposed in Singapore for contempt. He will serve an additional two week sentence as he could not afford to pay a fine in addition to the prison term, resulting in an eight week prison term.
Alan Shadrake's book, Once a Jolly Hangman -- Singapore Justice in the Dock, focuses on Singapore's appalling use of the death penalty -- believed to be possibly the highest per capita worldwide.
Amnesty International stated that "Singapore has thrown Alan Shadrake in prison solely for exercising his basic right of free speech and that the Singapore government should release Shadrake and scrap laws that criminalise peaceful criticism with imprisonment and crippling fines."
Despite the penalties of imprisonment and a heavy fine, Alan Shadrake himself is showing his resolve to continue speaking out and writing about Singapore's executions. Illustrating that determination, the second edition of the book has been issued. In the final paragraph, Shadrake speaks of changes worldwide in recent years and assures readers that there is no need to despair or fear that the equivalent of the Berlin wall will not come to Singapore. He insists "It will happen".
Sources and Relevant Links:
AI Journalist jailed in Singapore for exercising freedom of speech 09 June 2011
AI Singapore must release British author 19/09/2010
Telegraph British author Alan Shadrake arrested 19 Jul 2010