Singapore to block Lawyers for Liberty website over dispute on ‘cruel hangings’

Singapore’s Changi prison where the hangings are carried out. (Bernama pic)

SINGAPORE: The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will get internet service providers here to block the website of a Malaysian rights group that alleged prisons in Singapore use unlawful methods for executions, The Straits Times reported today.

Quoting the republic’s communications and information ministry (MCI), the report said the action was taken after the Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) group did not comply with a correction direction issued under the fake news law regarding a Jan 22 statement on its website.

“The correction direction issued to LFL had required the facts to be juxtaposed against the falsehoods so that end-users in Singapore can read both versions and draw their own conclusions,” MCI was quoted as saying.

The report said LFL had claimed that Singapore prison officers were instructed to kick the back of a prisoner’s neck with great force to break it if the rope broke during a hanging, and that the Singapore government approved of such “unlawful methods”.

According to the report, Singapore’s home affairs ministry (MHA) refuted the claims on Wednesday, calling them “untrue, baseless and preposterous”.

LFL, in its response last Wednesday, said it would not comply with the “unlawful and oppressive” correction notice, and asked the Singapore government to withdraw it.

The newspaper said LFL stood by its statements and claimed they were based on evidence from former and current Singapore prison officers with “impeccable” service records.