Today, FIDH and Function 8 (F8) made a joint submission for the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Singapore, which is scheduled to be held in April-May 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The joint FIDH-F8 submission focuses on the Singaporean government’s ongoing use of draconian laws that are inconsistent with various international human rights standards.
These laws include the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (CLTPA), which provide the legal basis for indefinite detention of individuals without trial. Such deprivation of liberty is inconsistent with international human rights standards, particularly those related to the right to liberty and the right to a fair trial. Prolonged detention without any judicial oversight increases the risk of detainees being subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These detainees are also at heightened risk of being denied their right to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
During its second UPR cycle in 2016, the Singaporean government did not accept all four recommendations that called for the amendment of legislation that allows such detentions. In response to these recommendations, the government delegation extolled the benefits of these laws in combating “serious organized criminal activities” and “the threat of terrorism.”
The joint FIDH-F8 submission also details how two other laws, the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (TSOFA) and the Misuse of Drugs Act, have been used to detain individuals pursuant to dubious procedures that lack transparency and due process and have been applied in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the purpose for which these laws were enacted.