Singapore – Akha TV 6 Amue Athu

We discuss the case of Amue Athu in a Singapore prison going to the Singapore supreme court and other issues.

I have reposted the following article as it is related to the video above. Also takes UNESCO to task and the sending of missionaries to Thailand.

From Akha Heritage Foundationmedium_amuestraitstimes.jpg

Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Thailand, was trafficked into Singapore. She was sent out of the country without due process and when she returned legally she was arrested. Now her case goes to the Singapore Supreme Court. Activism Works.

Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Chiangrai province in Thailand, was trafficked to Singapore under cloudy circumstances. She was quietly sent out of Singapore without due process when she didn’t “work out”.

Later when she chose to marry a man from Singapore, and set a date for marriage and returned to Singapore, the Immigration of Singapore arrested her and sentenced her to one year in prison for illegal entry.

Her fiance fought for her defense, and it was determined that highly irregular events happened in the handling of her case. How was she sent out of Singapore the first time with no arrest? Who signed what papers? Who was the translator? Why did they make her sign papers which said her real name was not in fact her real name? Why is there no record of her “arrest” with Singapore Immigration?

Now all of this is coming to light, and her case has been admitted by the Singapore Supreme Court.

In a day or two it will be listed on this site:
Supreme Court” under “Criminal Revisions”.

This case has been very important to the freedom of Ms. Wongsa who is now in Portdown prison for many months.

It is also important because the Thai Embassy has had to admit she is there and confirm that she is a Thai citizen, which they did not want to do, (first they said her passport is false) and that her Identity card and passport are genuine. In the past Thailand has disowned Akha women trafficked to places like Japan.

You can contact the Singapore Consul in San Francisco to ask them about this case and for the immediate release of Ms. Wongsa. Her prison number is S12369.

Singapore Consul
595 Market Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Email: singcg_sfo@sgmfa.gov.sg
Tel: (415) 543-4775
Fax: (415) 543-4788

Singapore citizens who need emergency consular assistance can call: (415) 595-4346
Use the last number, they actually answer the phone.

This case is also important in that it gives lots of light to how the Akha are treated, and the trafficking of Akha women by the Thais. The brothel owner in Hatyai has not been arrested at this time.

NGO’s in Thailand have proved nearly totally useless in getting one of “their own” arrested for a crime.

Thank you for supporting Akha Human Rights.

We hope that her case is overturned and that she is released and allowed to marry and stay in Singapore as a FREE Akha woman.

to post a comment

Related Links:
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 3
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 2
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 1

Akha Woman in Singapore Prison Case Goes to Singapore Supreme Court

From Akha Heritage Foundation

Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Thailand, was trafficked into Singapore. She was sent out of the country without due process and when she returned legally she was arrested. Now her case goes to the Singapore Supreme Court. Activism Works.

Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Chiangrai province in Thailand, was trafficked to Singapore under cloudy circumstances. She was quietly sent out of Singapore without due process when she didn’t “work out”.

Later when she chose to marry a man from Singapore, and set a date for marriage and returned to Singapore, the Immigration of Singapore arrested her and sentenced her to one year in prison for illegal entry.

Her fiance fought for her defense, and it was determined that highly irregular events happened in the handling of her case. How was she sent out of Singapore the first time with no arrest? Who signed what papers? Who was the translator? Why did they make her sign papers which said her real name was not in fact her real name? Why is there no record of her “arrest” with Singapore Immigration?

Now all of this is coming to light, and her case has been admitted by the Singapore Supreme Court.

In a day or two it will be listed on this site:
Supreme Court” under “Criminal Revisions”.

This case has been very important to the freedom of Ms. Wongsa who is now in Portdown prison for many months.

It is also important because the Thai Embassy has had to admit she is there and confirm that she is a Thai citizen, which they did not want to do, (first they said her passport is false) and that her Identity card and passport are genuine. In the past Thailand has disowned Akha women trafficked to places like Japan.

You can contact the Singapore Consul in San Francisco to ask them about this case and for the immediate release of Ms. Wongsa. Her prison number is S12369.

Singapore Consul
595 Market Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Email: singcg_sfo@sgmfa.gov.sg
Tel: (415) 543-4775
Fax: (415) 543-4788

Singapore citizens who need emergency consular assistance can call: (415) 595-4346
Use the last number, they actually answer the phone.

This case is also important in that it gives lots of light to how the Akha are treated, and the trafficking of Akha women by the Thais. The brothel owner in Hatyai has not been arrested at this time.

NGO’s in Thailand have proved nearly totally useless in getting one of “their own” arrested for a crime.

Thank you for supporting Akha Human Rights.

We hope that her case is overturned and that she is released and allowed to marry and stay in Singapore as a FREE Akha woman.

to post a comment

Related Links:
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 3
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 2
Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking? 1

The Latest from My sketchbook

Very happy to say that Sketchtbook has got back to work after a rather long hiatus.

Obasanjo urges Singapore not to hang Nigerian man


Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:36 AM GMT

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked Singapore’s government on Tuesday to grant repreive to a 21-year-old Nigerian man due to be executed for drug smuggling.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was arrested at Singapore’s Changi airport in November 2004 with 727 grammes of heroin. He is due to be executed on Friday after his appeal to Singapore’s president for clemency failed last year.

“It is for the reason of obtaining your kind pardon and clemency for the convicted Nigerian that I write this letter to you … to earnestly urge you to reconsider the conviction of the Singaporean Court of Appeal and to commute the death sentence to imprisonment,” Obasanjo said in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Obasanjo’s appeal came after Saudi Arabia executed a Nigerian man in December for smuggling cocaine into the conservative Muslim kingdom.

Human rights group Amnesty International has also called for clemency for Tochi, saying the judge who convicted the Nigerian “appears to have accepted that he (Tochi) might not have realised that the substance he was carrying was heroin.”

The drugs were estimated by the authorities to have a street value of $970,000.

The drug laws of the island nation of 4.4 million people are among the harshest in the world. The death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught with more than 15 grammes of heroin.

Government officials say the location of the city-state close to drug-producing countries forces it to take a tough stance on smuggling.

Action for Tochi

Chee Siok Chin
23 Jan 07

As some of you may have known, 21 year-old Iwuchkwu Amara Tochi, a Nigerian national will be hanged by the Singapore authorities this Friday 26 January 2007.

Our president, Mr. SR Nathan, has refused to grant clemency to this young man. This is perhaps not surprising as Mr. Nathan has never granted clemency to any prisoner on the death row since his presidency in 1999.

However, the greater tragedy in this case lies in the fact that the president will not spare the life of an innocent man. After a 13-day trial, High Court Judge Kan Ting Chui pronounced that “there was no evidence the (Tochi) knew the capsule contained diamorphine”. In addition to that the judge had said, “there is nothing to suggest that Smith had told him (Tochi) they contained diamorphine, or that (Tochi) had found that out of his own.”

And yet, despite this lack of evidence that Tochi knew that he had drugs on him, the Supreme Court has sentenced him to death. When Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong took over office last year, he had said, “Let me emphasise that the strict, but fair and efficient administration of criminal justice, will remain a key priority…I intend to set up a panel to review how current sentencing and bail guidelines can be further rationalized and improved.” Where lies the rationale for a man to be sentenced to death when the CJ’s own colleague in the High Court even doubted Tochi knew he had drugs on him?

This cold-blooded and mindless act by the Singapore Government must at least rouse the conscience of the people. If we remain silent, are we not accomplices of this horrible execution? Some of us are moved to act when we witness injustice at its gravest. This is why we have decided to demonstrate our outrage publicly to bring attention to this tragic matter.

Human rights lawyer Mr M Ravi, who has been campaigning tirelessly for Tochi, and I will join a 24-hour hunger strike launched by European Member of Parliament Marco Panella to support the campaign currently taking place in Italy, calling for a worldwide Moratorium on Death Penalty. To sign the Moratorium, please go to: http://www.radicalparty.org/sciopero_moratoria/form.php?lang=en

Mr. Ravi and I will be at Speakers’ Corner from 7am on Thursday 25 January and will go on a fast to register our outrage and to keep vigil with Tochi. We will then proceed to the grounds outside Changi Prison after 7pm to continue with this until his execution at 6am on 26 January.

As a mark of support and solidarity for an innocent man whose life will be taken from him in a few days from now, please join us at the Speakers’ Corner (Thu, 25 Jan, 7 am–7 pm) and Changi Prison (7 pm onwards).

AMARA TOCHI


The High Court in Singapore had imposed Death Sentence on Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi. 19, a Nigerian and Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, who is stateless (from South Africa).

On the 16th March 2006, the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeals. As a last resort, they can file appeal for clemency to the President. It is clear from previous clemency petitions that the President hardly grants any clemency.

In Singapore, “the law presumes that a person caught in possession of prohibited drugs knows that he is in possession of illicit drugs, with the burden of rebutting the presumption on the person charged.”

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi thought that he was carrying African herbs that tasted like chocolate. On 28 November 2004, he was arrested at the Changi Airport transit lounge with heroin. He had with him 100 capsules of heroin weighing about 727.02 grams.

Tochi was arrested for allegedly carrying heroin while Malachy was nabbed in a subsequent police operation after Tochi identified him as one of his companions. The court in Singapore handed the death sentence after a 13-day trial. It is disturbing to note that the learned trial judge himself having raised reasonable doubts proceeded to convict them.

Against Tochi the trial judge Mr.Kan Ting Chiu made the following finding at paragraph 42 of his judgment [2005] SGHC 233:

“There was no direct evidence that he knew the capsules contained diamorphine. There was nothing to suggest that Smith had told him they contained diamorhine, or that he had found that out of his own.”

Against Malachy, the trial judge made the following finding at paragraph 61 of his judgment:

“Although there was no direct evidence that the accused knew that the capsules contained drugs, and there is no presumption of such knowledge raised against him…”

Australian faces drug charges in Singapore

ABC News Online

A 38-year-old South Australian man has been arrested on drug charges in Singapore.

Michael Karras was arrested last week and charged with possessing 495 grams of cannabis.

He faces at least five years’ imprisonment and a minimum five strokes of the cane if convicted.

A death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught trafficking more than 500 grams.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says Karras is being assisted by consular officials.

The ABC understands the man has been living in Singapore for eight years.

The arrest of Karras comes more than a year after the highly publicised hanging of Australian Van Nguyen.

He was executed in December 2005 for trying to smuggle 400 grams of heroin via Singapore to Australia three years before.