SINGAPORE: The editor of a shuttered Singaporean information web site was on Thursday jailed three weeks for defamation over a letter the portal revealed alleging corruption amongst authorities ministers.
It is the newest case to gas considerations about worsening press freedoms in tightly managed Singapore, with authorities accused of utilizing heavy-handed techniques to silence dissent.
The Online Citizen (TOC), which was usually crucial of authorities, had its licence to function cancelled in October over a failure to declare funding sources.
Terry Xu, TOC’s former chief editor, was convicted the next month of defaming cupboard members over the publication of a letter stating there was “corruption at the highest echelons”.
District Judge Ng Peng Hong sentenced Xu to 3 weeks’ jail on Thursday.
Ng stated in sentencing remarks he thought a jail time period was warranted after contemplating “the nature of the allegation, the standing of the defamed parties, as well as the wide spread of the publication”.
The letter’s writer, Daniel De Costa, was additionally sentenced to 3 months and three weeks in jail.
He was convicted final yr of defamation and breaking laptop crime legal guidelines for sending the opinion piece from one other particular person’s e-mail account with out their consent.
Xu wrote on Facebook that he had opted to serve his sentence instantly, regardless that he deliberate to enchantment in opposition to the conviction.
“I’m not afraid of the jail sentence imposed upon me and strongly deny the cost positioned earlier than me,“ he wrote.
He had argued that the letter was not referring to particular person members of the cupboard.
Separately, Xu and one other TOC author had been ordered to pay substantial damages final yr after shedding a defamation go well with in opposition to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Singapore’s media sector is dominated by pro-government shops.
The city-state ranks one hundred and sixtieth out of 180 international locations and territories in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, the place primary signifies the nation with the best media freedoms.-AFP