2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


Urgent appeals

1258. On 4 November 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression on behalf of Chee Soon Juan, Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party, who had reportedly been sentenced to a prisoin temr of five weeks on 8 October 2002 following a rally he organizer on 1st May to promote workers’ rights. It was reported that he shares a poorly ventilated cell measuring only 7 by 15 metres with two other detainees and sleeps on a straw mat, next to a bucket that serves as the prisoners’ toilet. As a result, he was suffering from insomnia as well as nausea, back pains and lost of weight. During visits, his wife was reportedly harassed by prison authorities.

1259. By letter dated 25 November 2002, the Government reassured the Special Rapporteur that he was not subjected to ill- treatment in prison and that he did not suffer nausea and weight loss. According to the Government, although Spartan, Singapore penal institutions meet the basic needs of all inmates and all of them have access to medical attention. The Government also indicated that the re is proper toilet with flushing system in every cell. Juan Chee Soon was incarcerated for 32 days, during which he was attended 13 times by doctors on 49 times by the nursing staff. The Government further informed that he would perform physical exercise on most days. He was visited by a Visiting Justice (VJ), who checked the well-being of the prisoner. Regarding his wife, the Government informed that she requested to change the date of the second visit three times but that prison authorities accommodated all her requests. She did not complaint about the treatment received during the three visits she made to her husband.

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small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.