Activist Jolovan Wham found guilty of organising public assembly without permit

05-Jan-2019 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Jolovan Wham, a social worker at Community Action Network, was on Thursday (3 January) convicted at the State Courts of organising a public assembly without a permit and of refusing to sign a police statement.

Wham, 39, who was convicted after a trial last year, will be sentenced at a later date. District Judge Kessler Soh will hear sentencing submissions from deputy Public Prosecutors Kumaresan Gohulabalan and Nicholas Wuan, and defence lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam on 23 January.

Wham organised an event titled “Civil Disobedience and Social Movements” to discuss issues relating to civil disobedience and democracy in social change. It was held on 26 November 2016 at The AGORA, Sin Min Lane. Wham had publicised the event on Facebook and it was open to the public.

Prominent Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-Fung addressed the audience through a live Skype call.

But the event required a police permit due to Wong’s involvement as he was a foreigner. On 23 November 2016, a police officer advised Wham to apply for a permit under the Public Order Act. But he did not so so.

On 20 December 2016, a police investigator recorded a statement from Wham at the Police Cantonment Complex. After it was read back to him, Wham affirmed that the statement was true and correct, but he refused to sign the statement.

During the trial, Wham testified that he had asked for a copy of the statement if he were to sign it but he was rejected.

The maximum penalty for organising a public assembly without a required permit is a fine of up to $5,000.

The maximum punishment for refusing to sign a statement, when required to do so by a public servant, is up to three months’ jail and a fine of up to $2,500.


Category: Singapore

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