The Rhetoric

“We don’t ill treat people. We don’t beat people.”
– Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Far Eastern Economic Review, April 28, 1988 on those detained by the ISD in 1987

“We don’t do these thing in Singapore.”
– Mr S. Jayakumar, Asiaweek, September 13, 1987 on those detained in the 1987 arrests

The Reality

“We were subjected to harsh and intensive interrogation, deprived of sleep and rest, some of us for as long as 70 hours inside a freezing cold rooms…most of us were hit hard in the face, some of us for not less than 50 times, while others were assaulted on other parts of the body, during the first three days of interrogation.”
– Statement by nine ex-detainess of the 1987 ISA arrests, Apr 18, 1988. The next day when the statement was published, eight of them were re-arrested

“one of the interrogators slapped me across my left cheek, not with a flick of his wrist but with the full force of his body … every time I went to the lavatory, I vomited and I felt even colder when I returned …this was the first time in public that I was bra-less and I stooped whenever I walked so as to hide my breasts … I could not stop the trembling. I vomited countless times, and by the morning of the third day I had my period and I stained the prison pants.”
– Tang Fong Har, August 1989, who escaped re-arrest by the ISD because she was overseas at the time and has remained in exile

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