Two people given police warning over protest

Two people, who took part in a recent Hong Lim Park protest that disrupted a charity event, were given a conditional warning by police yesterday.

This means they must not commit any offence for a specified period, usually for 12 or 24 months. Should they do so, they will be charged with the new as well as the existing offences.

The police, who did not name the two persons, said last night the warnings were given to "two individuals who had participated actively at the event".

A spokesman for the police said in response to queries from The Straits Times: "These actions are taken after careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, and in consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"The investigation outcome for the remaining individuals will be made known to them in due course."

The conditional warning was issued for an offence of public nuisance, under Section 268 of the Penal Code.

The duo who got the warning were among several people questioned by the police over the Sept 27 protest.

Protest organiser Han Hui Hui had led several hundred people in a march around the park, encroaching on a nearby charity carnival and scaring special needs children performing on stage.

The police did not say if Ms Han, who is also under probe, had received a warning.

But the 22-year-old activist said in a Facebook post yesterday she would be reporting to the Police Cantonment Complex this morning. She did not elaborate and police would not comment.

Yesterday, she also wrote to the National Parks Board (NParks), through her lawyer, asking the government agency to approve a protest she had planned for tomorrow at Hong Lim Park.

Last night, NParks said it would stick to its decision.

The previous day, the agency had informed her that the approval she got earlier, to speak and demonstrate, had been cancelled.

The cancellation, it added, was made on the advice of the police as Ms Han was being investigated over the Sept 27 protest.

But Ms Han's lawyer, Mr M. Ravi, said in a letter to NParks the action amounted to "a breach of our client's rights of freedom of speech and assembly".

He said she was merely called in to "assist police in an investigation". It did not mean she was guilty of any offence, nor of breaching the law or terms and conditions of approval for use of the park.

But NParks said it "does not agree with the assertions in the letter". Hence, it would not accede to Mr Ravi's request for the "ban" to be lifted by 4pm today.

Several others questioned on the Sept 27 protest would also be prohibited from staging events at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park, until their cases are concluded, NParks had said on Tuesday.

Blogger Roy Ngerng, 34, co-leader of the Sept 27 protest, is among them.

This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014.
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