Friday, December 3, 2010

Suppressing dissent in Singapore: The jailings of Gopalan Nair and Alan Shadrake

A recent parallel with Alan Shadrake is Gopalan Nair, a lawyer and critic of the Singapore judiciary, jailed in Singapore in September 2008 for expressing his views in his blog.

Such suppression of free thoughts and their free expression is the most infuriating and contemptible action of a big bully.

The respected Foreign Policy magazine (Washington, DC. May 07, 2010 issue)  listed Gopalan Nair, formerly of Singapore, among the "World's Top Dissidents", in the company of Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Simar Samer of Afghanistan, Arnold Tsunga of Zimbabwe, Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, and Shirin Ebadi of Iran.

This is what Foreign Policy said about Gopalan Nair:
Gopalan Nair, a former opposition politician, is known throughout Singapore's embattled blogosphere for his fierce promotion of human rights and blunt criticism of founding leader and current "minister mentor" Lee Kuan Yew. In September 2008, Nair was sentenced to three months in jail for defaming a judge in a blog entry. On March 6, he published a hoax post on his blog indicating that Lee had suffered a heart attack and had been brought to Singapore General Hospital. Nair's motive? It was, he says, "a deliberate attempt to highlight how tenuous Singapore really is, with all power in the island vested in one man, and the dire consequences to the island of his parting. And especially so as [Lee] is 87." Nair lives in California and has been a U.S. citizen since 2004.

Foreign Policy article

Gopalan Nair's blog

Video interview (YouTube) on his arrest and trial in Singapore for blogging

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