Monday, June 11, 2007

Protect Innocent Family Members of Terrorists


On 6 June 2007, your ministry made the following orders:
- Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) (Exemption from Prohibition against Dealing) (No. 7) Order 2007
- Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) (Exemption from Prohibition against Dealing) (No. 9) Order 2007
- Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) (Exemption from Prohibition against Dealing) (No. 10) Order 2007

In these orders, your ministry exempted transactions involving certain property of "terrorists". It is of some concern to me that in the orders your ministry has listed the current addresses of such "terrorists", especially since these orders are publicly available at the eGazette website.

I am not sure if these "terrorists" continue to be in your ministry's detention or if they have been permitted post-detention to return back to their homes and restart their lives.

If they have, I am not sure how the public disclosure of their addresses will help them return and play a positive role in society, especially if they still live in these premises.

More importantly, your public disclosure also does not help their innocent family members living in the premises presently. I believe these family members have suffered and been shamed enough as a result of your ministry's disclosure and detention of their "terrorist" family member.

If the number of keen public witnesses attending court in high-profile cases are a precedent, I think one can perhaps safely argue that there are enough eager "prying" eyes to want to check out their premises. Indeed, I think it will now place the family members of such "terrorists" in less than necessary spotlight.

Surely, your ministry can find a better way to make such orders; a manner, which facilitates the re-integration of such "terrorists" back into society and protects the sacrosanct privacy of their innocent family members.

Your ministry's prerogative should not only be to protect Singapore's interests from harm but also to protect their innocent loved ones from additional discrimination in society. I hope your team will play its part in giving wrongdoers a second chance, and keeping their innocent loved ones out of harm's way.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?

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