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Silent Protest at EEAS Human Rights Seminar
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:29

And this is what happened at the actual event, a day after the civil society statement. Thio Li-Ann, law professor and anti-gay rights crusader, was there to speak on the topic of international human rights law.

 

 

Activists stood in front of the stage with their placards and taped-up mouths, while two others positioned themselves with a rainbow flag in Thio's line of sight. Notably, they kept their silence, and their protest carried on alongside Thio's speech.

 


Photo by Robin


Photo by Robin

 


This post will be updated. Kudos to all those who joined in!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 03:55
 
Statement of Concern on EEAS' Human Rights Day Seminar
Thursday, 04 December 2014 03:06


Thio Li-ann


Sayoni and nearly a hundred
civil society individuals and organisations issued this statement, dated 3 December 2014, in response to the EU Delegation to Singapore's invitation to Thio Li Ann to speak at a seminar commemorating Human Rights Day in Singapore.

The Straits Times: Civil society members protest law professor's invitation to speak at human rights seminar

The Online Citizen: Statement of concern on Thio Li-Ann as speaker at EU human rights seminar

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We, the undersigned, write to express our disappointment at the choice of Prof Thio Li Ann as a speaker for the Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EEAS European Union Delegation to Singapore.


It is a matter of public record that Prof Thio: -

1. believes the LGBT community is not entitled to the protections of human rights with respect to issues of sexuality, even between consenting homosexual adults.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 15:33
 
Court of Appeal’s Verdict on 377a Constitutional Challenge: A Missed Opportunity
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 30 October 2014 17:25

Joint Statement by Singapore’s LGBT Community Groups

SINGAPORE, Thursday, October 30, 2014 –
We are greatly shocked and disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s ruling against appeals brought forth by Kenneth Chee, Gary Lim, and Tan Eng Hong, thereby upholding the constitutionality of Section 377a of the Penal Code criminalising sex between men.

Despite the authorities’ claim that this law will not be enforced, the existence of Section 377a has a wide-ranging effect not just on Singapore’s Gay men, but also its Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

It gives carte blanche for discrimination and reinforces prejudice, leading to censorship in the media and the aggravation of negative stereotypes, and impacting the health and wellbeing of a significant segment of society.

While we appreciate the Court’s position that it cannot assist in providing a judicial remedy to what it views as a legislative issue, we cannot accept its narrow interpretation of the constitution in this regard, and its view that this is an ‘insistence by a particular group or individual that its/his values be imposed on other groups or individuals’.

It is not an imposition for a segment to seek the same rights as the rest of society. To be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law, to feel safe at home, and to be protected against discrimination, mistreatment, even physical and emotional harm, is a right to which every Singaporean should be entitled, and not denied on the basis of whom they love.

With this verdict, an opportunity to showcase Singapore as a truly accepting, open and inclusive society – and a great place to live, work and play – has been missed. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 02:56
 
Are You LBTQ? Experienced Violence or Discrimination?
Monday, 09 June 2014 04:40


Have you been teased, bullied or physically locked up or harassed – because you are lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer in some other way? Have you had trouble in school, finding a job or flat, or getting the healthcare services you needed?

Some of us shrug off these daily discriminations as everyday happenings. Others have never spoken about the pain we have suffered. Authority figures can be cold and lack understanding of LBTQ people. Our family members may have turned our backs on us.

Do you have a story of your own to share?

Sayoni is conducting a study on LBTQ experiences of violence and discrimination in Singapore. We are looking for people who identify as women across the LBTQ spectrum who are willing to sit down with us to answer some questions. You should also be 18 and above and have lived in Singapore for more than a year.

Your participation is important to help people understand the real situation on the ground. It will drive Sayoni's advocacy work and shed light on the community's needs.

We will keep your data anonymous and do our utmost to protect the privacy of interviewees. To find out more about our study, please email us at hrd[at]sayoni.com.



Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 21:47
 
Civil society statement on racism and xenophobia
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:30

We, the undersigned, are alarmed by the recent surge of racism and xenophobia in Singapore.  They threaten the human rights of all (especially migrants) and the health of our political conversation.

The key to addressing the economic frustrations felt by many Singaporeans is to amend the economic policies and structures that cause worsening economic inequality and marginalisation.  These inequitable policies were not instituted by migrants and will not automatically disappear if the migrant population decreases.  We urge for the energies of civil society to be directed toward creating a fairer, more equal society for all, including universal labour rights and employment protections.

Focusing on immigrants does not contribute to these structural changes and instead creates an unsafe and divisive society.  We see the widespread use of racist, aggressive and militarised rhetoric on social media, as well as a trend of blaming foreigners for social ills.  Ordinary people have been threatened in public spaces with nationalist and/or anti-foreigner language.  To identify “true blue Singaporeans”, people appeal to prejudices about race, class, skin colour, names, accent, language, and other markers of difference, creating an oppressive society where people constantly discriminate against one another. This supports various forms of discrimination, not just against non-Singaporeans but also among Singaporeans – for example, on the basis of gender, age, disability, class, ethnicity, descent and other characteristics.

This anti-foreigner approach also stifles constructive political discussion.  Some elevate pink identity cards or National Service to sacred emblems of belonging and entitlement, which cannot then be discussed openly and inclusively.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 03:43
 
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