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Singapore

6 people warned over protest outside MOE building: Police

6 people warned over protest outside MOE building: Police

The Ministry of Education building. (File photo: Ngau Kai Yan)

SINGAPORE: Police have issued warnings to six people for their involvement in a public assembly without a permit outside the Ministry of Education (MOE) headquarters earlier this year. 

In the media release on Tuesday (Nov 30), police said they have completed investigations against nine individuals, aged between 19 and 41, over the incident. 

"No further action will be taken against the remaining three individuals who were investigated," said police. 

On Jan 26 at about 5pm, a group of five people had staged a protest by holding placards outside the MOE building along Buona Vista Drive. The group did not have a police permit to carry out the public assembly. 

When police arrived, only three individuals remained, including the 33-year-old organiser of the public assembly.

"The police warned them to cease their activities as they were liable for an offence under the Public Order Act. However, they ignored the police’s warning and continued with their activities," said police in the release. 

The group was then issued with a "Move-on" direction under Section 36 of the Public Order Act and were told that they would be arrested if they failed to adhere to the direction.

"They refused to comply despite the police’s repeated warnings, and were arrested under the Public Order Act at around 5.35pm." 

Apart from the five individuals, four others, aged between 23 and 41, who were not part of the public assembly, were also investigated for their suspected involvement in the incident.

"STERN WARNING" ISSUED TO THREE PEOPLE

The warnings were issued following consultations with the Attorney-General's Chambers, said police. 

A 24-month conditional warning was given to the 33-year-old for organising the public assembly without a permit and contravening a "Move-on" direction. 

Another two people, aged 19 and 24, were also issued a 12-month conditional warning for participating in the public assembly without a permit and contravening a "Move-on" direction by the police.

A "stern warning" was given to two individuals, aged 24 and 41, for participating in a public assembly without a permit, said police.  

"Both individuals had complied with the directions given by the security officer stationed at MOE headquarters and left the public assembly location promptly before police’s arrival."

Another stern warning was issued to a 23-year-old for abetting an offence of participating in a public assembly without a permit. The individual was involved in the preparation of placards that were used at the public assembly, police said. 

The protest was held after a student in early January wrote in a Reddit post that MOE had prevented her from obtaining a doctor's referral letter to begin hormone therapy.

The ministry denied these claims later, saying it was "not true" that it had interfered with the student's treatment, adding that it had invited the student to approach the school to "clarify and discuss how the school can support his schooling better". 

On Jan 21, MOE released a joint statement with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), saying that the final decisions on the use of hormone therapy "rest with clinicians and their patients"

Source: CNA/ad(rw)

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