Four bus drivers in Singapore – after ill-treatment in detention – go on trial on 4 March

February 19, 2013


Human rights defenders He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang, Liu Xiangying, and Wang XianHuman rights defenders Messrs He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang, Liu Xiangying, and Wang Xian Jie will go on a joint trial from 4 to 8 March 2013, reports Front Line Defenders.He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang Liu Xiangying, and Wang Xian Jie are human rights defenders who were employed by the state controlled public transport operator SMRT Ltd. More than 100 mainland Chinese bus drivers refused to report for duty on the 26th of November 2012. It took some time for authorities to label the stoppage an ‘illegal strike’.  Once that happened, things moved quickly. 29 drivers accused of participating in the action were swiftly rounded up and deported. Five men were also arrested. One has already been tried, jailed and sent back home. The others – He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang, Liu Xiang Ying and Wang Xian Jie – are waiting for their cases to be heard. They are currently facing charges of inciting an illegal strike among bus drivers, and could be sentenced to a fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (approx €1,250), a 12-month prison sentence or both.He Jun Ling and Liu Xiangying revealed last week that were assaulted by police officials while they were held in custody in December 2012. According to the information received, He Jun Ling was interrogated from 5am to 1pm, during which time he was locked in a small room, handcuffed, and beaten in the stomach. Liu Xiangying reported that an official threatened him, stating that “they can dig a hole and bury him. No one will be able to find him.” He was also handcuffed to a chair and beaten in his neck and the left side of his body.

Lynn of Lianain Films wrote that she had the opportunity to talk to the four men recently, as research for a possible documentary. The project is nowhere near finished, but two of the men told her something she felt compelled to share on VIMEO  He Jun Ling and Liu Xiang Ying from Lianain Films on Vimeo.

Some civil society groups have released a joint statement calling for an independent inquiry into He and Liu’s allegations.

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