M Ravi to tour Europe to campaign for human rights and abolition of mandatory death sentence in Singapore

Lawyer Mr M Ravi, will embark on a speaking tour in Europe to promote awareness about human rights violations in Singapore and to campaign against the imminent execution of two Africans, Nigerian Amara Tochi and South African Okele Nelson Malachy.

Mr Ravi’s first stop is Budapest, Hungary where he will participate in a human rights course at the Central European University organized by the Open Society Institute. The five-day course will cover subjects on the teaching of human rights, the organizing of group protests, the reform of the rule of law, and the advocacy of human rights & good governance.

Following the stint in Hungary, Mr Ravi will visit Germany beginning 15 July 2006 where he will meet with the media and civil society leaders to brief them about the internationally condemned mandatory death sentence meted to small-time drug peddlers in Singapore.

He will encourage the Germans to help campaign for the Nigerian and South African. In 2002, Ms Julia Bohl, a German national, was let off with a three-year jail term after the German authorities intervened and pressured the Singapore government not to hang her.

From 20-26 July 2006, Mr Ravi will visit Sweden and the UK where he will meet with parliamentarians, political parties, journalists, and NGOs to alert them to the on-going abuse of human rights in Singapore such as the criminal prosecution of Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr Gandhi Ambalam, and the Mr Yap Keng, and the use of defamation suits to silence PAP critics. He will also continue his advocacy for the abolition of the mandatory death sentence in Singapore during his visit to these countries.

In Sweden, Mr Ravi will meet with three leading legal experts on defamation law and freedom of expression to discuss with them the summary judgment that Messrs Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong are taking out in their suit against Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin.

In the UK, Mr Ravi will meet with international NGOs and Members of the European Parliament to urge them to pay more attention to the continuing suppression of democratic rights in Singapore. He will also attempt to meet with Mr Tan Wah Piow, a former student leader in Singapore and now lawyer in the UK.

En route to Europe, Mr Ravi will stopover in Hong Kong to attend a conference on the death penalty organized by Amnesty International. He will also meet with lawmakers and human rights activists there to encourage greater cooperation between democracy advocates in Hong Kong and Singapore.

At the various stops, Mr Ravi will conduct press conferences to bring to the attention of the European public the violations of human rights in Singapore. This website will update readers on the developments.

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