British author released on bail in Singapore

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 15:18

Singapore: British author Alan Shadrake,
who was arrested on charges of criminal defamation and
contempt of court, was Tuesday released on bail.

Freelance journalist Shadrake was arrested at a hotel
on Sunday, a day after he arrived here to promote his book on
alleged double standards in Singapore`s use of the
death penalty.

75-year-old Shadrake`s arrest is linked to his
violation of the laws of the city state and not on his views
on the death penalty, the Singapore government said today.

Shadrake`s passport has been impounded.

Shadrake`s 219-page book titled `Once A Jolly Hangman:
Singapore Justice In The Dock` was filled with accounts of
high-profile cases in Singapore involving the use of the death
penalty.

Commenting on Shadrake case, the Home Affairs Ministry
said: "The Singapore Government`s position on the issue of
capital punishment is not new. Those who disagree with our
position have presented their arguments and as a matter of
principle, we respect their right to hold such opposing views,
as we hope they do ours."

Shadrake is now under investigation for criminal
defamation. He is also the subject of contempt of court
proceedings initiated by the Attorney-General`s Chambers.

"His anti-death penalty views are not the issue in
these investigations; it is his violation of the laws of
Singapore," said the Ministry.

It also stressed that anyone, Singaporean or
otherwise, who breaks the law regardless of the cause he
touts, would be taken to task.

"Shadrake is no exception - he cannot expect to commit
offences and then assume that he will be exempted from being
held accountable under the law," said the ministry.

The 219-page book has accounts of capital punishment
cases and interview with former executioner Darshan Singh.

The book was launched in Kuala Lumpur last month.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 15:18

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