Drop charges against Jolovan Wham; Protect our freedom of expression
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On 29 November 2017, Jolovan Wham was charged with 7 offences under the Public Order Act, Vandalism Act, and the Penal Code for peaceful and non-violent acts. In the police's statement, Wham is described as 'recalcitrant' and showing a 'blatant disregard for the law'.
As an activist, Jolovan has spoken out against detention without trial and has been an untiring and staunch advocate of free speech, as well as for migrant workers who face exploitation and poor working conditions in Singapore.
The alleged public assemblies involved holding a vigil outside Changi Prison for a death row inmate, organising a silent protest in a train, and a forum involving a foreign speaker via Skype. The vandalism charge is for affixing two A4 size papers expressing support for the detainees of the alleged 1987 marxist conspiracy on a panel of an MRT train, which were subsequently removed.
The prosecution of Jolovan Wham has a chilling effect on free speech where the law is used as a tool of intimidation against peaceful and non-violent activists. In Singapore, the Public Order Act has been amended such that 1 person can be considered an illegal assembly. These charges also violate his constitutional and universal rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Wham's case has been set for Pre-trial conference on 13 December 2017.
Non-governmental organisations have made statements in support of Jolovan and urging the government of Singapore to drop these charges against him. They include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Function 8. We hope you will, too.
Please sign this petition to urge the Attorney-General to drop the charges against Jolovan Wham and cease all proceedings against him.
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