PETALING JAYA: The Singaporean government must stop intimidating and harassing Singapore human rights lawyer M Ravi, a rights group said.
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) chief coordinator Zaid Malek said Singaporean authorities had responded to Ravi’s outspokenness on human rights with disciplinary, police and contempt proceedings against him.
In a statement, Zaid said the action was being taken against Ravi for his staunch defence of the human rights of drug mules on death row, including many Malaysian citizens.
He said Ravi had for decades provided pro bono service to countless persons and spoken out on human rights in Singapore as well as the rights of Malaysians deprived of fair trial in Singapore.
According to LFL, Ravi faces seven professional disciplinary inquiries which could result in him being fined, suspended or disbarred, and three ongoing contempt of court proceedings, as well as separate police investigations.
“The number of pending cases launched by the government, the attorney-general and the courts is immeasurable,” Zaid said.
The proceedings include action taken against Ravi for his vigorous defence of mentally disabled Malaysian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who was executed amid international outcry last week, Zaid said.
Nagaenthran, 34, was executed last week for having 42.72gm of heroin when entering Singapore in 2009. His lawyers said he was intellectually disabled.
“It is disturbing to witness the extent that Singapore is willing to go to in order to punish Ravi for his principled stand,” he said.
He said Singapore had a duty to ensure that lawyers were able to perform their professional responsibilities without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference, in accordance with the UN Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers.