"Singapore Unbound", a US-based group that supports cultural exchange, released a statement against the "wrongful conviction and sentence of artist-activist Seelan Palay".
Palay was sentenced to 2 weeks' jail for peacefully holding an art piece outside the Singapore Parliament in 2017. Singapore Unbound condemns the sentence as it deems it as a violation of people's freedom of expression. It said that Palay was acting alone so it does not constitute as a "public assembly". Furthermore, he did not cause public disorder.
"Like any Singaporean citizen, he has the constitutional right to speak and assemble freely. Although the Constitution of Singapore allows for the government of the day to restrict such a right in the interest of public order, the restriction of permissible public spaces for protest to just the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park and the definition of just one person as an “assembly” are clearly politically repressive and go against international standards for such rights".
Singapore Unbound warned that the judgment may cause a climate of fear among Singaporeans who are already afraid of speaking up and hoped that the sentence will be quashed so that Singapore can prove that it is truly a mature and democratic country.
"Singaporeans deserve to be treated in the same way as the citizens of mature democracies. After fifty years of political independence, Singaporeans are more than ready to assume the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship".