FREE EXPRESSION

in Asian Cyberspace

James Gomez harassed by Singapore authorities

JAMES Gomez, who was one of our panelists at the recently held “Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace” conference in Manila, has been asked to surrender his passport “voluntarily” and to help the Singaporean police with investigations over a complaint lodged against him by the Elections Department of Singapore.

Based on accounts posted on his blog, James was attempting to leave the country when he was stopped at the Changi Airport in Singapore and was subsequently escorted to the police station. He underwent three separate questioning sessions, lasting for 16 hours, in connection with the following charges: criminal intimidation, giving false information, and using threatening words and behavior. The police has not told him how long the investigations will last and when his passport will be returned.

James participated in the recent general elections under the Workers’ Party ticket. The party was able to garner 44 percent of the votes cast, a significant increase to make it the largest opposition party — though still with only one or two parliament seats out of 84. The ruling party retained a large majority with 67 percent of votes cast.

An online petition has been launched to express support for James. To sign the petition, click here.

You can also access information about his participation in the recent Singapore general elections and the petition on his blog. Jeff Ooi also has accounts of the airport incident and James’s arrest.

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May 12, 2006 Posted by | Free Expression in Asia | 3 Comments