Government orders that Lawyers for Liberty's website be blocked in Singapore

Government orders that Lawyers for Liberty's website be blocked in Singapore

file photo phone woman 5
File photo of a mobile phone user. (Photo: Xabryna Kek)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has ordered that the website for a Malaysian human rights group be blocked in the country.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has been directed to issue access blocking orders for the website of Lawyers for Liberty.

The orders mean Internet access service providers will have to disable access for users in Singapore to Lawyers for Liberty's website.

IMDA was directed to issue the orders by the Minister for Communications and Information, the ministry announced on Thursday (Jan 23).

This comes after Lawyers for Liberty's "non-compliance" with a correction direction issued against a statement on its website, said the ministry.

READ: Yahoo Singapore adds correction notice to Facebook post about Malaysian group's claims of 'brutal' executions

READ: Singapore invokes online falsehoods law against Malaysian rights group's 'preposterous' claims on execution methods

On Jan 16, Lawyers for Liberty released a press statement alleging brutal execution methods at Singapore's Changi Prison.

In its statement, it alleged that prison officers were instructed to "pull the rope around the neck of the prisoner towards him" and "kick the back of the neck of the prisoner with great force in order to break it", whenever the rope broke during a hanging. 

The group was subsequently issued a correction direction by the Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) office, along with three other parties for spreading the allegations.

However, Lawyers for Liberty said it would not comply with the correction direction, saying it stood by its claims that prisoners on death row at Singapore's Changi Prison are executed brutally.

In its statement on Thursday, the Ministry for Communications and Information (MCI) said the correction direction had "required the facts to be juxtaposed against the falsehoods, so that end-users in Singapore can read both versions and draw their own conclusions".

"LFL (Lawyers for Liberty) chose not to comply," said the ministry. "The access blocking orders will ensure that the falsehoods do not continue to be communicated in Singapore without the facts placed alongside them."

It added the access blocking orders would be cancelled should Lawyers for Liberty subsequently carry the correction notice required by the correction direction.

Lawyers for Liberty's website was still accessible as of 11.30am, Singapore time. 

Source: CNA/nc

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