The Singapore Police have confirmed that two persons involved in the Hong Lim Park protest on 27 September have been issued conditional warnings.
The warnings were issued for the offence of public nuisance, under Section 268 of the Penal Code which says:
“A person is guilty of a public nuisance, who does any act, or is guilty of an illegal omission, which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public, or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.”
The police did not name the two but it is believed that the organiser of the event, activist Han Hui Hui, is not among them.
The conditional warnings mean that the two persons must not commit any offence for a specific period, which can be 12 or 24 months usually.
If they should commit any offence within this period, they will be charged for the original offence plus the new one.
“These actions are taken after careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, and in consultation with the Attorney General’s Chambers,” the police said.
It is unclear if the two persons have accepted the warnings.
If they do not, charges against them may proceed.
“The investigation outcome for the remaining individuals will be made known to them in due course,” the police said.
It is believed that a further six persons, including Ms Han and blogger Roy Ngerng, are being charged also for public nuisance, together with Section 34 which says:
“When a criminal act is done by several persons, in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if the act were done by him alone.”
The punishment for the offence is a maximum fine of S$1,000. (See Section 290.)
The charges against them include:
- Marching around the general vicinity of the YMCA event
- Shouting loudly
- Chanting slogans
- Waving flags
- Holding placards
- Blowing whistles loudly
- Beating drums
The police had earlier summoned a number of the protesters – along with other people from the YMCA – to assist it in its investigations into “an offence of unlawful assembly” at Hong Lim Park on 27 September.
Last week, the police seized Ms Han’s note book during the interview at the Cantonment Police Complex where Ms Han was summoned to assist in investigations.
The police later returned her note book, after Ms Han’s lawyer issued a letter of demand for the police to do so.
Earlier this week, Nparks notified Ms Han and several others that they were being banned from using Hong Lim Park until police investigations were completed.
It also withdrew the approval it had given to Ms Han to hold a demonstration at the park this Saturday.
Questions were raised by members of the public on whether Nparks had the authority to impose such bans, given that the Government had specifically designated Hong Lim Park as Singapore’s only free speech venue where permits and approvals are not required. (See here: “Does Nparks have unfettered discretionary powers to impose bans?”)
On Thursday, Ms Han posted on her Facebook page that she has been summoned to appear at the police station on Friday morning.