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    Singapore Court Jails UK Author Alan Shadrake for Contempt


    by NTDTelevision

    British author Alan Shadrake got a six week jail term in Singapore. He wrote a book critical of the country's use of the death penalty, which led to his conviction.

    Singapore's High Court sentenced 76-year-old British writer Alan Shadrake to six weeks in jail on Tuesday. The court found him guilty of contempt of court for criticizing the city-state's judiciary.

    [Alan Shadrake, British Writer]:
    "I'm not saying anything at this stage, I've never apologized for the book. I made an apology for an error, that's all. And this is what it's all about, it's not about me, it's about the end of the death penalty, and I'm going to campaign forever and ever, whether they like it or not."

    The High Court ruled that Shadrake's book on the country's use of the death penalty had scandalized the court. He had also fined Shadrake about $15,000 plus legal costs of about $42,000.

    Shadrake's lawyers had asked the court for a lenient sentence of censure, while prosecutors had demanded a 12-week jail term.

    [M. Ravi, Shadrake’s Attorney]:
    "He is fair, the judge is fair but I won't say justice is fair."

    Shadrake’s attorney intends to ask the British parliament to take the case to the International Court of Justice.

    [M. Ravi, Defense Lawyer]:
    "There are three motions that I am proposing to be introduced to the House of Commons, A - to intervene on this matter on account of a British citizen who's frail, 76-years-old, for an urgent intervention, that's A. B - to condemn this decision of the court of Singapore on account of regression of civil liberties, suppression of dissent. Three, for the British parliament to take responsibility for its colonial legacy of hanging in Singapore."

    New York-based Human Rights Watch and other groups had urged Singapore to free Shadrake.

    Singapore imposes the death penalty for crimes such as murder and a mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking. It boasts of one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

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