Thanks Al, for the heads-up on this.
And just when I thought our reputation could sink no lower, the police come with new and exciting PR tactics to show everyone how open and diverse we are. Note that they are the same people who freaked out over the White Elephant T-shirts, denied licenses for the Snowball party, decided to accost CSJ while he was giving out flyers, and form a anti-riot squad of 40 to take down 4 unarmed civilians in t-shirts with *gasp* slogans, and tries to entrap people into buying drugs and having gay sex.
I guess I can’t quite blame them. There isn’t enough crime in Singapore to keep them busy, so I guess they have to make up offences. And more accurately, they have to make sure they bend over backwards to please the you-know-whos.
Shortly after the HRTR activities ended at Singapore’s landmark hill and frequent tourist spot, Mount Faber, six police officers, tagged by a cameraman, seized two Human Rights Torches and two HRTR banners from CIPFG members.
Categorizing the event as “illegal assembly”, the investigation officer said the torches and banners were needed to facilitate their “investigation”, and repeatedly demanded HRTR event participants to reveal their names and personal particulars, on the pretext of returning the props to the rightful owner after their investigation.
When the police were questioned about the purpose of the investigation and who would be held accountable for the confiscation of the items, no direct answer was given.
Some HRTR event participants told the police to arrest them if they had committed a crime, rather than take away the symbolic items. The police officers were hesitant and seemed uncertain. When the event participants walked away the police did not take any action.
The Human Rights Torch, gaining international attention from dignitaries and citizens around the world, is a symbol of justice and peace, standing for the sacredness of humanity’s fundamental rights.
The banners, which were also confiscated, read ‘Human Rights before Olympics’ and ‘Olympic Games and crimes against humanity cannot coexist in China’.
“The word ‘human rights’ has become a dirty word because of the government’s propaganda. There is no such thing as human rights, only until recent years, the notion of human rights at least,” said John Tan, who was at the scene.
“What is really significant is that Singaporeans are now vocal and daring enough to come out and say ‘hey, this is human rights, contrary to what the government has been telling us. Human rights do not belong to just the West. We want human rights too and we deserve human rights as well.”