Activist Jolovan Wham to be charged with holding illegal assemblies
Social activist Jolovan Wham will be charged in court today with organising public assemblies without a police permit, vandalism and refusing to sign his statements when required by police.
Mr Wham is an advocate for migrant workers' rights and the former executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics.
Police said in a statement released yesterday that Mr Wham, 37, had created a Facebook event asking the public to participate in a vigil outside Changi Prison Complex on July 13.
He went on to hold the vigil although he had stated in the online post that a permit had not been sought.
The vigil had been for Malaysian Prabagaran Srivijayan, 29, who was convicted of importing 22.24g of heroin into Singapore and was hanged on July 14.
Police said 17 people, including Mr Wham, were investigated for organising and participating in an illegal public assembly outside the prison complex.
The remaining 16 people are still being investigated.
On June 3, Mr Wham organised a silent protest on an MRT train with eight others without a police permit.
They had been protesting against the detention of 22 activists in 1987 under the Internal Security Act for allegedly trying to overthrow the Government.
He also faces a charge of vandalism under the Vandalism Act for pasting two A4 sheets on an MRT train panel. The other eight are still under investigation, said police.
On Nov 26 last year, Mr Wham held an indoor public assembly featuring a foreign speaker, Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong.
Police said they had advised him earlier that a police permit was required but he went ahead without one.
During the investigations, Mr Wham had also refused to sign his statement on multiple occasions when required to, an offence under the Penal Code.
The police statement said: "(Mr) Wham is recalcitrant and has repeatedly shown blatant disregard for the law, especially with regard to organising or participating in illegal public assemblies."
Those convicted of organising a public assembly without a police permit can be fined up to $5,000 under the Public Order Act. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.