On April 27, 2005, the Subordinate Court in Singapore convicted two Falun Gong practitioners because they handed out fliers and VCD's exposing the persecution of Falun Gong at Esplanade Park in May 2004. They were ordered to pay fines of S$20,000 (US $12,216) and S$24,000 (US $14,660). Declaring their innocence, the practitioners refused to pay and asked to appeal. They were imprisoned that day without bail.
In 1996, practitioners registered Falun Gong as a legal social group in Singapore. From that time until the persecution began in China in 1999, practitioners held more than ten sessions to teach the practise, free of charge for various groups and community organisations. Each session attracted as many as one hundred or more people, who wanted to learn the practise.
In 1998, the Southeast Asia Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held. More than 2,000 practitioners from around the world attended the conference. The founder of Falun Dafa, Mr. Li Hongzhi, came in person to the conference and talked to practitioners, answering their questions during the talk.
Before the persecution began in July 1999, there were many Falun Gong practise sites in Singapore. The police never monitored or investigated these outdoor practise sites. Practitioners didn't have to apply for permission for any of the activities mentioned previously or group practise involving hundreds of practitioners. Back then, the development and spreading of Falun Gong in Singapore never encountered difficulties from the Singapore government.
When Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, the Singapore government also drastically changed their attitude towards the practise. The police prohibited practitioners from doing the exercises outdoors in public. When practitioners went to the Chinese Embassy in Singapore to appeal, the police gave them severe warnings. Although the Singapore Constitution claims that citizens have the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of belief, the Singapore government have played a disgraceful role in the persecution of Falun Gong.
When faced with the cruel persecution in China, practitioners only clarified the truth about the practise and the persecution, practised the exercises, and appealed to the Chinese government to stop the persecution. Everything they have been doing is legal and their purpose is to safeguard their rights. The Singapore government ignored the law, overlooked the suffering of millions of innocent Chinese people, and even added fuel to the fire.
In February of 2003, when eight Falun Gong practitioners were doing the Falun Gong exercises and distributing VCDs about the persecution in China in a park, the police rudely interrupted them. One policeman told the practitioners, "I will charge you all so you have to appear in court!" In May 2004, two of the practitioners received a complaint from the court that claimed they held a group meeting without permission and distributed VCD's that had not been approved. Their defence lawyer, however, refuted the charges with sound and rational arguments. The practitioners did not hold a meeting as claimed by the court, but a group practise. This is protected by the Singapore law, which states its citizens have the right of free beliefs and free distribution of their beliefs. All the materials the practitioners distributed are free to download in Singapore. If the materials were questionable, they would have been filtered out by the authorities. Currently in Singapore, there are many uncensored VCDs circulating in the country that the authorities are aware of, yet do nothing about . The practitioners are innocent and their behaviour was not a disturbance as claimed by the authorities. The reason the police and the court charged the two practitioners was because the Singapore government is kowtowing to pressure from the CCP and sacrificing its own legal principles.
More puzzling is that other Falun Gong practitioners who were distributing truth-clarification materials that same day did not get charged. Why was it that only the two women practitioners received a complaint from the court? According to a reliable source, the authorities tried to suppress Falun Gong with this case and force practitioners to disappear from the public because the police have been greatly pressured by the Chinese government. They decided to choose the "weakest" from the involved practitioners to carry out their plot. The two practitioners they chose are from poorer families, have young children, are housewives, and cannot speak English. The authorities believed they would be successful in charging them. If they admit to the charges, then the authorities would have an excuse to ban all Falun Gong activities.
It's appalling and disreputable how the Singapore authorities treat the supposedly "weak" citizens. Ms. Ng Chye Huay, one of the defendants, told the media, "What we did was legal and proper, as it was based on our belief. Otherwise, we would not do so. If we bow to the pressure and admit to the charges, we will be forever regretful. We would be sorry to ourselves, the people of Singapore, and even the people who accused us. Only through persisting in our legal rights and appealing our case will we be able to have them contemplate their wrongdoings and correct their mistakes. The sole reason we are doing this is for others, not for ourselves."
Defense Counsel Mr. Dodwell said, "My two clients look small and weak in stature, but they are great women. You can't imagine their strength, confidence, and courage they gained from their faith in Falun Gong. You can't imagine their compassion and tolerance of others. After I have been in contact with other Falun Gong practitioners, I believe there is no other group in the world that is more dedicated, peaceful, rational, and tolerant to others than Falun Gong practitioners."
What Ms. Huay and Mr. Dodwell said should leave the Singapore government feeling ashamed. For politicians, nothing is more foolish and lamentable than to actively involve themselves in persecuting kind and innocent people. Choosing between good and evil, the Singapore authorities selected the latter. This is a crime, a crime to all the Singaporean people. This is a dangerous step toward the wrong direction for the country and its people. Falun Gong has withstood the most brutal persecution for the past six years, and it has not only survived but gotten stronger. In the current course of history when the persecution of Falun Gong is bound to fail, the Singapore authorities chose to cater to the CCP. This action made Singapore the only country other than China to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
For the future of Singapore, I appeal to the Singapore government to correct the unfair judgement. Otherwise, when the day the truth is revealed to all, the Singapore government will be forever shamed. The crime of persecuting "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" will not be forgiven by Heaven or history.
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