British author Alan Shadrake has been found guilty of insulting Singapore’s judiciary in a book he wrote about the city state’s use of the death penalty.
Judges found that septuagenarian Shadrake’s book, Once A Jolly Hangman, alleged that judges were not impartial, and that the death sentence was applied for political ends. Shadrake will be sentenced next week.
Index on Censorship Chief Executive John Kampfer commented: “The conviction of Alan Shadrake for what would have been deemed in many countries to constitute the defence of fair comment is another example of Singapore’s very poor record on free expression. If, as it says it does, the Singapore government seeks to loosen up culturally, it needs to understand that criticism of authority is part of the democratic discourse.”