British author released on bail in Singapore

British author released on bail in Singapore 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.