The judge admits Jolovan Wham is being prosecuted for “demonstrating his opposition”, not so much because he held up a sign.
Last Friday, Jolovan Wham was convicted of “unlawful assembly” outside the state courts. According to the dictionary, assembly is a “group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose”.
Yet, our government has their own definition. Jolovan Wham was actually standing alone outside the state courts. Also, he only stood there “for about 15 seconds while a woman photographed him”.
What did the judge say about Jolovan Wham?
District Judge Eugene Teo reminds us that Jolovan is not being prosecuted for photo-taking. Instead, He is being prosecuted for “demonstrating his opposition to the actions of the Attorney-General’s Chambers”. Basically, he opposed the state’s decision to prosecute Terry Xu and Daniel De Costa.
Nobody paid attention to Jolovan in person, but the judge says the action was demonstrative when he posted the photo online.
“(He) undoubtedly sought the attention of everyone when he took steps subsequently to broadcast his exploit publicly on his Facebook account that he had taken those demonstrative actions at that location in broad daylight with that message.”District Judge Eugene Teo
So if you take a photoshop yourself holding up a sign at a government building and post it on Facebook, you can also be convicted. Especially if you are someone the government doesn’t like.
Bertha Henson weighs in
In response to the news, NUS Associate Professor Bertha Henson made a Facebook post sharing Straits Times article. She pointed out how ridiculous the state is. They made it obvious that they are doing this because they don’t like Jolovan.
She also question if the government is going to waste more national resources especially if more people do the same.
Is this a Freudian slip?
The government has always been biased, making their own definitions and creating special laws just so they can “deal with” people they don’t like. As usual, this is their way of fixing the opposition.
This time however, they finally let it slip that they are doing this because Jolovan is “opposing the state”.