1 Oct 2006

Singapore Locks Up Rights Lawyer in Mental Hospital

By Jaya Gibson
Epoch Times Staff deported to Sydney
Sep 28, 2006

Singapore authorities have forced the city-state's leading human rights attorney, Madasamy Ravi, into a psychiatric institution, The Epoch Times has learned. Ravi's hospitalization, which sources say is against his will, follows his legal defense of eleven Falun Gong practitioners in a series of cases which Ravi believes are politically motivated.

Falun Gong adherents believe the Singapore government is prosecuting the cases to please the Chinese communist regime, which persecutes Falun Gong.

Ravi was arrested on September 19, said his younger sister Seeniamah. Singapore officials arrested Ravi on the day he was to travel to Geneva to address the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Ravi had told The Epoch Times he would speak to the Council on Singapore court irregularities he had witnessed during his most recent defense of Falun Gong adherents in the Singapore Subordinate court, as well as on the court's lack of independence.

Two days later, he was sedated against his will and committed to Singapore's Adam Road Hospital, Seeniamah said.

In the days between Ravi's arrest and his commitment, he was released "conditionally" into the care of his family, said family members. Police then reportedly told Ravi's family that he would be jailed, and that they would have no access to him—unless they agreed to have him committed. Ravi's brother Sivam signed the commitment papers.

He does not suffer from mental illness, according to acquaintances.

A source close to Ravi, whose anonymity will be kept for safety reasons, managed to visit him on Thursday, September 22. Ravi appeared in good health, but said that he was being held against his will and wanted to be released immediately. Ravi said he "did not feel safe" at the hospital, said the source.

In 2005, Ravi did make a successful visit to the UN—to the now defunct Commission on Human Rights. There, he raised Singapore authorities' ire by successfully lobbying the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston to publicly speak out against a case of mandatory death sentencing in the city state.

Following his reporting on the Singapore trials of Falun Gong practitioners as well as the protests at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Singapore earlier this month, this reporter was regularly monitored and followed by local police.

Upon returning to Singapore after a brief trip to Europe, this reporter was detained by immigration authorities and deported to Australia on September 25. No reason was given for the deportation.

At the time of writing Ravi remains hospitalized. All attempts by The Epoch Times to gain access to him have been blocked by hospital officials. The Singapore state press has reported that the trial of Falun Gong practitioners will be postponed until next month as a result of his absence. The trail was due to continue on Monday, September 25.


Anonymous said...

This is what i hate abt this country - no humanity. it's like a communist country.

Anonymous said...

I really fear for our freedom under mini Lee..

Anonymous said...

Obviously minilee is going to be a bigger tyrant than papalee. So much for his talk about a more open and inclusive society. If anything, I think we are moving closer towards the direction of North Korea.

Vash said...

Whats going on here? Forgive my ignorance but is this a normal course of practice for people the PAP really don't like? (i thought it was all law suits nowadays) Singaporeans are going to have stand up (unlikely) otherwise we will end up like North Korea. That or we wait for the older generation (65+) to die out.
That whole article made my skin crawl.

Anonymous said...

well earlier in this blog, there was a link to Jaya Gibson's blog and how Ravi was behaving erratically and now the post is removed. so who got silenced here?

Anonymous said...

Err as far as I know Ravi checked himself in. Check SDP's website for the details. Obviously there is a bending of truth everywhere you go

soci said...

anon 11.44.42am do you mean this post http://singabloodypore.blogspot.com/2006/09/singapore-british-reporter-denied.html . Still finding navigating blogs rather tricky?

Anonymous said...

Ask Robert Ho

Anonymous said...

hi soci, thanks for that link. reading jaya gibson's blog, i can understand why he is hardly making it as a reporter

Matilah_Singapura said...

Is it really true that Ravi is being held against his will?

Anonymous said...

Whether Mr Ravi has been arrested or is hospitalised, all is not well.

His efforts to bring important issues to the UN and represent parties against State authority are to be admired.

I wish him a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

This makes for a good drama mama soap opera plot. Somebody, should write a screenplay and send it to Mediacock Drama Serial Department. They seem to have run out of ideas and screenwriters, seeing that they now have to get PCK to solicit for contributions from the public. "You write WE ack!" Cor blimey.

Win that SGD1,500!

I just get more and more impressed with our local TV stations. Not only are they bankrupt of ideas and good screenwriters but also so cheapskate. Way to go.


boon said...

soci, what's the point of just cutting and pasting articles without any commentary?

This Epoch Times article (a Falungong vehicle) is hardly credible, you're misleading the readers by posting them here.

Very disappointed.

Anonymous said...

there's no way he's there by choice. I've met him on two occasions. The first time he came across as urbane, intelligent and highly organised. He had just published Hung at Dawn. In other words he is person highly unlikely to allow himself to say anything that might bring on a libel action.

The second time I met him he looked afraid. He might have lost his temper but mental illness? gimme a break. I've worked with mentally ill people. Most of them can't even tie their shoelaces let alone take on LKY.

boon wake up, Harry is talking about staging his own coup for God's sake. What on earth do you think happened here.

Readymade said...

Amazing how all the negative stereotypes about mental illness start coming out of the woodwork. There're many kinds of mental illness, and most of them do not impair motor functions. Mentally ill people can and do appear "normal" at times.

Maybe M. Ravi really is suffering from mental illness. And maybe the Falungong are using it to further their own agenda. They run the Epoch Times. Doesn't that make anyone suspicious?

Anonymous said...

Not many go to mental hospitals by choice, do they?