EU Commission to monitor human rights in Singapore

The European Commission has reiterated its concern on the lack of human rights in Singapore and assures that effort will be undertaken to monitor the situation.

European Liberal Democrat Leader Graham Watson welcomed a commitment by the European Commission to step up its monitoring of the human rights situation in Singapore following the arrest and prosecution of two opposition leaders for organising a May Day rally.

In response to a written question tabled by Mr Watson, the European Commission undertook to ask its delegation in Jakarta to consult with Member State diplomatic missions in Singapore and consider the implications of the case.

The Commission added that the opening of a Commission delegation to Singapore towards the end of 2002 “will further increase the scope for the Commission to monitor the democratic and human rights situation in the country, and if deemed necessary, widen the scope for appropriate follow up actions with the authorities in conjunction with Member State Diplomatic Missions.”

Mr Watson said: “The recent imprisonment of Democratic Party leader Dr Chee Soon Juan on a trumped-up charge reminds us of the blatant disregard of the Singaporean regime for democratic freedoms. The EU must do what it can to promote human rights in the region.”

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