Event report: Human Rights education seminar on the Internal Security Act (ISA)

24 October 2011

MARUAH organised a seminar on the Internal Security Act (ISA) on 22nd October 2011, as part of its human rights education initiative, to facilitate members of the public to learn more about the ISA.

Assistant Professor Jack Lee from the School of Law, Singapore Management University, brought the seminar attendees through the history of the ISA.

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance, introduced in 1948, had to be reviewed at regular intervals, and reissued if deemed necessary. This was then replaced by the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance, after the 1955 Hock Lee Bus riots. The ISA was enacted in Malaya in 1960. When Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963, the ISA was incorporated into Singapore law. After separation in 1965, the ISA was retained.

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Event report: Public consultation on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

17 October 2011


On 15th October 2011, MARUAH organised a public consultation on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration to provide information on the drafting process, and also to solicit comments from the public on what should be included in the Declaration.

Ms Braema Mathi, president of MARUAH, started the session by providing a historical overview of human rights in ASEAN, beginning with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action in 1993, and culminating with the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2009.
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October 10 – World Day Against the Death Penalty

10 October 2011

The act of execution is inhumane in itself.  Being on Death Row inflicts extreme psychological suffering not only on the prisoner, but also on the family. It also impacts society – dehumanising us as we leave it to the State to mete out the extreme punishment. If there is a miscarriage of justice, the death penalty ensures that there is no room for any correction as it is irreversible and irreparable.

On the World Day Against the Death Penalty, MARUAH joins many other global voices to ask for a review and more immediately, a moratorium on the death penalty. MARUAH believes that the death penalty is inconsistent with prevailing customary international law, but accepts that Singapore and Singaporeans may not be ready to agree to a total repeal of the death penalty. However, the mandatory death penalty, especially in drug cases, clearly breaches human rights norms, and so must be immediately repealed. Read more here on our earlier report to the Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review.

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Why the ISA? – a MARUAH human rights education initiative

10 October 2011

MARUAH invites you to its next human rights education initiative, where you will get the opportunity to learn more about the Internal Security Act (ISA) and direct questions to a panel of legal practitioners.

Assistant Professor Jack Lee from the School of Law, Singapore Management University, will review the history of the ISA, the regime for detention without trial under the ISA, and the legal challenges to the legality of detention under the ISA in the late 1980s and early 1990s following Operation Spectrum. Mr Peter Low, former President of the Law Society of Singapore, will provide a practical perspective to the implementation of the ISA, particularly highlighting his experience appearing before an ISA Advisory Board as a defence lawyer. Mr Choo Zhengxi, a MARUAH member (and also co-founder of The Online Citizen) will talk about the ISA from a rights-based perspective. There will then be a Q&A session with the attendees chaired by Mr P N Balji, former Editor-In-Chief of TODAY newspaper.

Event details
Date: 22nd October 2011, Saturday
Time: 10 am to 11.30 am
Location: Bras Basah Complex, #04-41, CSM, Action Room [Map]

Registration begins at 9.30 am. To register, please click here.


Public consultation on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration – 15 Oct 2011

6 October 2011

In July 2011, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) set up a Drafting Group to formulate the draft of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.

The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration will establish a framework for human rights cooperation through various ASEAN conventions and other instruments dealing with human rights.

The drafting is ongoing, and MARUAH Singapore would like to invite you to a public consultation to get your views.

Event details
Date: 15 October 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 9am to 12pm
Location: Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) 96 Waterloo Street S(187967), Training Room 3 [map]

Click here to register for the event.


Human Rights Day 2011 – “What Human Rights means to me?”

4 October 2011

A Creative Writing + Poetry Competition

What does Human Rights mean to you?

We are certain each one of us has a story to share. Send it to us in an essay format (not more than 2,000 words) or poetry.

There are 3 categories:
Cat A: 18 to 35 years old
Cat B: 36 to 65 years old
Cat C: 66 years old onwards

Deadline for submission has been extended to 24th November 2011, 1159 hrs.

See link here for the judging criteria.

To participate, please register via this link.


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