PEN International renews its call for the charges against British author Alan Shadrake to be dropped after his six-week prison sentence for contempt was upheld by the Court of Appeal on May 27, 2011. An additional two weeks has been added to his sentence in lieu of a heavy fine. Shadrake is expected to begin serving his sentence on June 1, 2011. PEN considers Shadrake to be sentenced solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and on humanitarian grounds.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, Alan Shadrake was convicted by the high court in Singapore on November 18, 2010, for allegedly “scandalizing the judiciary” in his book Once a Jolly Hangman – Singapore Justice in the Dock. The book is a critique of the use of capital punishment in Singapore, alleging double standards and a lack of impartiality. He will also serve an additional two weeks’ imprisonment in lieu of a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars (£10,000). According to Shadrake's lawyer M Ravi, his client's jail term will most likely be reduced by a third for good behavior.
 
Shadrake faces a further charge of defamation for the book, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. His passport is being held by the police. Shadrake, aged 76, was arrested on July 18, 2010, after arriving in Singapore to launch the book, and released on bail two days later pending trial. He is said to be in poor health, and is currently undergoing medical tests before beginning his sentence.

Write A Letter

  • Protesting the prison sentence handed down to writer Alan Shadrake for his book Once a Jolly Hangman;
  • Expressing serious concern for his health;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and on humanitarian grounds.

Send Your Letter To

Office of the Prime Minister
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Orchard Road
Istana
Singapore 238823
Fax: +63328983/+68356621
Email: lee_hsein_loong@pmo.gov.sg

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Singapore in your country if possible.

Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN if sending appeals after June 30, 2011: ftw [at] pen.org