Transient Workers Count Too joined with several other civil society groups and actors to issue a statement on allegations of police brutality made by two former SMRT bus drivers who are now facing charges for their alleged role in the “strike” of 26 and 27 November 2012.
January 29, 2013
SINGAPORE – We, the undersigned Civil Society Groups and members, are concerned about allegations of police brutality and harassment of the four ex-SMRT drivers who are out on bail. He Jun Ling and Liu Xiang Ying have reported that they were assaulted and intimidated during police investigations.
According to He Jun Ling, he was handcuffed and punched by an officer. Liu Xiang Ying alleges that he was handcuffed to a chair, then punched and slapped. These allegations have cast serious doubt on the credibility and veracity of the ex-driversʼ statements to the police and the entire investigation process.
Article 14 of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, of which Singapore is a party to, states that ʻno person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.ʼ As matters pertaining to the Singapore Police Force fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, we urge them to take the workersʼ allegations seriously and conduct a full and independent inquiry.
Furthermore, we understand that the four men have also been harassed by unidentified persons since their release from custody, and that a police report has been made to investigate the matter.
In the spirit of fairness and transparency, we hope the police will respond to this letter, and a dialogue can be started on the treatment of migrant workers as well as the processes involved in police investigations.
Other signatories to this statement can be seen at http://workfairsingapore.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/civil-society-statement-on-alleged-police-brutality/
See also an earlier statement TWC2 made on the role we see for ourselves: TWC2 supports due process for SMRT drivers
The allegations of police brutality surfaced in videos made by He Junling and Liu Xiangying, speaking about their experiences soon after being arrested: