Torture in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Singapore]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                            

Republic of Singapore

Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing service sector. Over the long term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to global demand cycles, especially for information technology products - it has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production - and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Singapore

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Singapore.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Singapore rejects criticism that caning is `torture`

Zee News, 9 March 2015

[accessed 6 April 2015]

Singapore on Monday defended a court order for two German men to be caned for spray-painting a metro train and trespassing into a high-security depot, rejecting claims the punishment amounts to torture.

US-based Human Rights Watch has slammed Singapore`s continued use of caning -- a punishment dating back to British colonial rule -- as a "shameful recourse to using torture".

"Singapore`s laws against vandalism are well known. Caning is a prescribed punishment for the offence of vandalism, and the law applies to any person who chooses to break it," a spokeswoman for the Attorney-General`s Chambers told AFP.

"Caning is not torture. It is carried out in Singapore under strict standards, monitored at all times by a doctor," she added.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or download PDF at

[accessed 18 March 2015]


CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM - Singapore continues to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) to arrest and administratively detain persons for virtually unlimited periods without charge or judicial review. Government authorities publicly maintain that such laws are necessary to protect Singapore from international terrorist threats. Authorities did not report any new arrests under the ISA in 2014.

Yong Vui Kong, who had his death sentence for drug-running commuted to life imprisonment and now faces a 15-stroke caning, has mounted a constitutional challenge to caning, asserting it violates Singapore’s constitution and customary international law that prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The challenge was pending before the Supreme Court at time of writing.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 9  Feb 2014]

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - Judicial caning – a practice amounting to torture or other ill-treatment – continued as a punishment for a wide range of criminal offences.

Drug traffickers sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the mandatory death penalty would be liable to caning under proposed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices, and the government generally respected these prohibitions. In March 2004 a detainee claimed that in 2003 police officers used physical means to force him to confess and threatened to arrest his wife. The trial judge ruled that the confession was involuntary, refused to allow it into evidence, and subsequently acquitted the man of all charges. In August 2004 the High Court sustained the ruling that the confession was involuntary and disallowed it. It nonetheless found the accused guilty and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment. The police force took no action against the officers accused of using "physical means" because the detainee had not lodged a complaint prior to the trial.

In previous years there were some cases of alleged police mistreatment of detainees. Persons alleging mistreatment were permitted to bring criminal charges against government officials suspected of involvement. The media reported fully on allegations of police abuse, and the government took action against abusers.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Singapore",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Singapore]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Singapore]  [other countries]