In 2018, #Singapore Prison Service forwarded 4 letters Syed wrote to his uncle + 1 letter he wrote to his then-DEFENCE COUNSEL to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

At that time, Syed’s capital case was before the Court of Appeal. AGC was the prosecution. wethecitizens.substack.com/p/when-the-pri…
The Community Action Network and #Singapore Anti-#DeathPenalty Campaign have issued a statement: singaporecan.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/que…

There needs to be an independent investigation into and accounting for this clear breach of inmates’ privacy, and in Syed’s case, solicitor-client privilege.
From an August 2020 Court of Appeal judgment, we learn that this wasn’t an isolated case. Another death row inmate, Datchinamurthy, complained that the prison had, w/o consent, forwarded to the AGC documents given to him by his family.

From para 84: supremecourt.gov.sg/docs/default-s…
When Datchinamurthy complained, the Singapore Prison Service and Attorney-General’s Chambers argued that they hadn’t done anything wrong since his documents weren’t privileged communications between him and his lawyer. (So what about Syed’s letter to his lawyer in 2018?!) Image
This is the relevant part of the prison regulations. Note that (4) says the prison can’t copy/withhold correspondence between a prisoner and their legal advisor. How and why did the prison forward Syed’s letter to his lawyer to the AGC? Image
The Court of Appeal made it clear that there’s “no legal basis” for the #Singapore Prison Service to be forwarding inmates’ documents/correspondence to the AGC. It said “the proper procedure would have been to obtain the prisoner’s consent or an order of court.” Image
How often does the #Singapore Prison Service do this “forwarding without consent” thing? We don’t know exactly. But it appears as if they do it even when the Attorney General’s Chambers *doesn’t* specifically ask for correspondence/documents. 😱😱😱 Image
Disclosing an inmate’s communication w/ his defence counsel to the prosecution is serious. It’s providing privileged information to the adverse party, and is unfair to the inmate, *especially* ‘cos he’s in the prison’s custody and they have such power over his communications.
Given this unfairness against Syed, can it really be considered safe to execute him?

Further: how often has the #Singapore Prison Service done this? How many other inmates and their defence lawyers have been affected? How many cases could have potentially been prejudiced?
Adding a correction to this thread: I missed that 127A of the Prison Regulations was only brought in in Sept 2018, months after Syed’s letters were sent.

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More from @kixes

26 Jan
Today: A protest by Singaporeans against transphobia in the education system.
They've issued a statement and are using the hashtag #FixSchoolsNotStudents
Within minutes security officers have shown up saying that photos can't be taken and asking them to leave. 2 protesters have left but 3 remain. #FixSchoolsNotStudents
Read 28 tweets
24 Sep 20
I'd like to share the story of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, a young Nigerian footballer.

In 2007, at the age of 21, Tochi was hanged in #Singapore.
Tochi was arrested in Changi Airport in #Singapore on 27 November 2004. He was 18 years old.

He was later charged with importing not less than 727.02g of heroin. His case largely revolved around whether he could rebut the presumption clauses within the Misuse of Drugs Act.
What are these presumption clauses? First: if you have more than 2g of heroin, Section 17 of #Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act (here: sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/MDA1973#pr…) presumes that you are trafficking the drugs.
Read 23 tweets
23 Sep 20
This was brought to light on Monday. In an @STcom piece on Syed’s hearing, this is what the Ministry of Home Affairs had to say about the correspondence:

Turns out their position is there was no legal prohibition against sending privileged communication to the adverse party. Image
This is the @STcom story I got the screenshot from: straitstimes.com/singapore/cour… I believe the original headline was "Lawyer M Ravi seeks to delay drug trafficker's execution", but the story has since been amended to highlight the government's view/response.
According to Syed, the prison is executing Singaporeans first during #COVID19 since the families of foreigners can't visit. This, @MRavilaw argued, breaches Article 12 of #Singapore's Constitution that says all are equal before the law 'cos it treats lives differently.
Read 6 tweets
22 Sep 20
Some thoughts after observing the hearing for Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin today. Screenshots from my Facebook page since it's long and not particularly conducive to a thread. #deathpenalty #Singapore ImageImageImageImage
And one on what we know about how death row inmates' clemency petitions are considered in #Singapore.

tl;dr We don't know anything Image
Ultimately, I was very glad that the Court of Appeal decided to give both sides time to file further submissions, and that the next hearing will not take place before 7 October, thus giving Syed more time with his family. But these are the points I'm not pondering.
Read 4 tweets
22 Sep 20
Will be in court this afternoon for Syed’s hearing. 30k+ have signed a petition calling for clemency, he received a stay of execution, and the prison sent his privileged communication w/ his lawyer to the prosecution.

There has been no coverage by the local mainstream media.
Here's the @SCMPNews story on the hearing from @deweysim and @jbhavan: scmp.com/week-asia/poli…
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep 20
You know you’re in #Singapore when “WE ARE WATCHING YOU” ad campaigns about people snitching is considered a big positive. Calling the police is a national pastime ImageImage
While Singaporeans are encouraged to watch and report one another, who is watching the government, state organs, and other organisations with power?
Just to state for clarity, I never said that people shouldn’t ever report crimes; I’m pointing out that it isn’t great for social cohesion if we constantly promote a culture/narrative in which we are encouraged to monitor and police one another.
Read 5 tweets

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