British writer starts jail term over book on death penalty
A British writer Wednesday began a jail term in Singapore on a contempt of court conviction for a book that criticised the death penalty in the city-state, his lawyer said, DPA reported.
Alan Shadrake, 76, lost an appeal against his six-week sentence and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars (16,150 US dollars), the heaviest sentence so far imposed for contempt in Singapore.
"Singapore has thrown Alan Shadrake in prison solely for exercising his basic right of free speech," said Lance Lattig, Southeast Asia researcher at Amnesty International.
Shadrake had accused Singapore's courts of succumbing to political influence and favouring the wealthy. He based his allegations on interviews with a former executioner, human rights activists and police officers.
The Malaysia-based author was arrested in Singapore in July following the launch of his book Once a Jolly Hangman.