Singapore detains reporter covering sensitive trial

The Epoch Times
Sep 24, 2006

Epoch Times reporter Mr. Jaya Gibson was detained Sunday night local time upon attempting to enter Singapore.

At the end of August and during the first half of September Gibson had covered for The Epoch Times two stories that highlighted the difficult human rights situation in Singapore.

He filed several reports regarding the trial of two Falun Gong practitioners in Singapore who had been arrested for displaying a banner on a sidewalk opposite the Chinese Embassy asking for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong.

Gibson also covered the attempts by the Singapore government to restrict any protest activity outside the I.M.F. meetings held there last week.

After a brief trip to Europe, Gibson attempted to re-enter Singapore in order to resume covering the trial of the Falun Gong practitioners.

That trial has been treated by the Singapore government as a matter of great sensitivity. Initially, press from outside Singapore were not allowed into the courtroom to cover it.

Gibson reported that after he began covering the trial he was subjected to regular monitoring by the Singapore police.

The defense lawyer in the trial, Mr. Ravi, had intended last week to fly to Geneva to make a presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Commission about this trial, but was detained before he could leave Singapore.

At issue in the trial, and perhaps one reason why the Singapore government has taken extraordinary measures regarding it, is the influence of the Chinese regime on Singapore.

Asked for the reason for Gibson’s detention and deportation, a Singapore immigration official told The Epoch Times that they had “no comment on this case” and that they did not “reveal the reasons to outsiders”. They refused to explain the relevant process of law with regard to deportation and the rights of deportees.

Gibson is due to be deported on Monday.

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