Attendees at a silent candlelight vigil in honor of Prabagaran Srivijayan — a Mayasian migrant worker who was executed for drug trafficking on July 14 — have been notified that they are the subjects of a police investigation.
Prabagaran Srivijayan is the fourth person executed by the Singaporean state in 2017 for drug trafficking. He never admitted his guilt and human rights groups had urged the Singaporean government to spare him and re-hear his case.
17 people attended the candlelight vigil on July 13. Police forbade them from lighting their candles, and, in some cases, confiscated the candles. They have been notified that they are facing charges under Section 16(2)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A, which prohibits unauthorized public gatherings.
They are not permitted to leave the country until the matter concludes.
The police also summoned Terry Xu, editor of The Online Citizen news website, who expressed surprise to learn the vigil was viewed by police an act of illegal assembly:
An "illegal public assembly" to grieve over an individual who was put to death under the state law, and insisted that he is innocent till the point he was hanged at the gallows. It was also an "illegal public assembly" where the police officers turned up at the scene and said it was okay to gather so long there is no candles placed.
Singaporeans Face Police Investigation After Holding Candlelight Vigil for Executed Migrant Worker
[Mong Palatino/Global Voices]
(Image: Kirsten Han)