SINGAPORE: The Singapore police on Saturday (Oct 21) said they were investigating activist Gilbert Goh for holding up a sign related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, while standing outside Speakers’ Corner at Hong Lim Park.
Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, the police and National Parks Board said they would turn down applications to hold events and public assemblies related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, due to public safety and security concerns amid heightened tensions.
The next day, Goh posted on Instagram a black-and-white photo of himself at Speakers’ Corner, with a handwritten placard that read: “Peace not war. Israel stop the killing at Gaza! Hamas release all the hostages!”
A different, coloured version of the photo was later posted elsewhere on social media, including on the Reddit platform as well as by alternative news source Wake Up Singapore.
The police on Saturday said they were “aware of a social media post showing a man holding onto a sign relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict outside the Speakers’ Corner, and investigations are ongoing”.
Goh was not identified.
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On Saturday, the police also reiterated its reasons for not permitting public assemblies to do with the ongoing conflict in the Middle East; and that organising or participating in one without permission constitutes an offence.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas took more than 200 people hostage when it stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct 7 and killed at least 1,400 people.
Israel has bombarded the densely populated territory in retaliation, levelling entire city blocks and killing over 4,000 Palestinians. Troops are massed on the border with Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion.
In August last year, Goh was fined for protesting outside the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority building without a permit. He had held up a placard in May 2021, calling on flights from India to be banned in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases.