Activist appeals to Khaw over NParks' decision

Activist appeals to Khaw over NParks' decision

Headline: Activist appeals to Khaw over NParks' decision Byline: THAM YUEN-C Publication: ST^ST Date: Wednesday, 29 October 2014 Page: B7 Picture Caption: Bloggers Han Hui Hui and Roy Ngerng were charged in court on Monday over their Sept 27 demonstration at Hong Lim Park. (C) Singapore Press Holdings Limited

Activist Han Hui Hui, who faces charges over a protest that disrupted a charity carnival, yesterday appealed to National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan about a National Parks Board (NParks) decision that disallows her from organising events at Hong Lim Park.

Her lawyer, Mr M. Ravi, said in the appeal letter to Mr Khaw that she has the right to hold events at Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park, despite being charged over the Sept 27 incident.

He argued that not allowing her to do so would be a violation of her rights to free speech.

The NParks is a statutory board under the National Development Ministry.

Mr Ravi also said the appeal letter was sent by mistake earlier yesterday to Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Last week, NParks said it would not approve any application for the use of Speakers' Corner by those who were charged with or will face charges over the Sept 27 fracas.

Han, 23, was charged on Monday, along with blogger Roy Ngerng, 33, with committing public nuisance acts and organising a demonstration at Hong Lim Park without approval.

Four others who actively participated in the protest were also charged with being a public nuisance.

All six are accused of disrupting the YMCA Proms @ The Park event held on the same day, at an adjacent lawn in Hong Lim Park.

Han and Ngerng led several people on a march around the venue, encroaching into the area where the charity event was being held and scaring some special needs children who were performing on stage.

Mr Ravi represented all six charged at the case hearing on Monday.

The prosecution has agreed to his request for more information to be shared.

The case has been adjourned to Nov 24.

Meanwhile, Han, Ngerng and their supporters have appealed online for public donations to help pay the legal bills of all six.

A person found guilty of being a public nuisance can be fined up to $1,000.

Organising a demonstration without approval carries a maximum fine of $5,000.

yuenc@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 29, 2014.
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