Singapore detained 366 without trial in last five years


Singapore authorities detained 366 people without trial under its criminal law in the past five years, its Parliament was told today.

However, 272 detainees were released in the same period from 2004 to 2008, according to Home Affairs Minister Wong Kang Seng in his written reply to questions raised in Parliament.

Wong said the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act was used for the maintenance of public order, prevention of strikes and lock-outs relating to essential services as well as the detention and supervision of persons in the interest of public safety, peace and good order.

He said the Act was only used as a last resort when a serious crime had been committed and a court prosecution was not possible because witnesses were not willing or afraid to testify in court.

Most cases dealt with under the Act, were related to secret societies, drug trafficking or loan sharking, said Wong, who is also deputy prime minister.