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RSF致李显龙公开信

27/03/10

作者/来源:http://www.rsf.org 新加坡文献馆译

李显龙总理
总理办公室
总统府
新加坡238823

巴黎2010年3月25日

尊敬的总理

又有一家外国的新闻机构被逼向你和你的父亲道歉以及赔偿一笔巨款,为的是发表了一篇你不喜欢的文章。这回是纽约时报公司成为双倍罚款的受害者,因为顺从的法庭一向来都在由你向外国传媒提出的司法诉讼上让你和你的家属获得有利判决。

在纽约时报公司之前,你成功的惩罚了远东经济论坛,亚洲金融网站,经济学人,国际先驱论坛报,亚洲华尔街日报;都由于报导了你国内的政治与经济状况。

由于受到诉讼的威胁纽约时报公司向你和你的父亲李光耀道歉,这是因为2月15日国际先驱论坛报,刊登了一篇由菲普力包林(弘宝灵)撰写的《全是一家人》。

除了道歉之外,这家美国传媒公司也必须支付114,000美元的赔偿。你的律师文达星说包林的文章违反了你们家庭与国际先驱论坛报之间的一份‘协议书’,这家公司在1994年也因为一篇文章《亚洲价值观的好处经不起考验》而遭判决赔偿一笔巨款。

如今已经停刊的远东经济论坛在上年头的11月,在拖延了长久的法律纠葛后,也支付你和你的父亲290,000美元的赔偿。虽然缺乏证据新加坡的法官在初审与上诉审讯时不考虑到新闻报道自由还是给予对你有利的判决。

无国界记者组织谴责你和你的父亲多年以来利用的司法骚扰,去阻止外国新闻媒体从近距离报道你如何治理你的国家。这将会对新加坡的新闻自由带来严重与长久的伤害。

你的政府持续不断的表示无法容忍外国记者是令人不安的表态。比如,上年头10月,本布兰德一名为经济学人和每日电讯报供稿的英国自由撰稿人,就遭拒绝入境签证,以及采访在新加坡举行的亚太经合组织峰会的许可证。‘我被迫离开新加坡因为政府拒绝重批我的工作签证,对此政府亦无提出解释’,布兰德如是的告诉了无国界记者组织。

但是,审查制度最终影响了本地传媒报道与本地艺术家的创作。比如,2009年10月,新闻与通讯部持续禁止由一名新加坡电影人施忠明制作的有关异议者赛扎哈里的记录片。可以在此观看这影片http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI2…

在回应无国界记者组织发布的2009年报业自由指标报告中,新加坡位例175个国家中的第133名次,你的法律部长尚牟甘形容这份报告为‘荒唐’与‘脱离现实’。

很不幸的,现实情况指出我们的观点是对的。

自你担任总理的6年以来,你倡议‘开放’社会,在自由言论上却没有多少的改善。

我们由此觉得你的政府有必要立即着手进行一些措施。

1、停止诽谤诉讼,这是你和你的亲属用来对付那些用独立眼光去报道新加坡发展的新加坡和外国传媒。联合国的自由言论特别报告员说,总理,他的部长们和高级官僚们必须克制对记者们的文章与批评提出控诉。

2、修订刑事法以删除对报业法律上违规者的囚禁。

3、修订报业法令,特别是有关批准出版许可证的有关条文。目前的一些限制阻止了独立传媒的出现。电影法令也应该来得更宽松。

4,修改国家安全法令以便消除行政理由上的拘押,这种做法让有关当局基于个人的思想而将他逮捕囚禁。

5、重组媒体发展管理局,使到这个单位不再有权审查和单独的对电视节目与电影给予建议。

6、允许政府的对手和公民团体代表在不设局限下接触大众传媒。

7、保证报业控股和新传媒旗下的所有媒体享有社论自由。

8、把你们家庭的得自外国与本地传媒的全部赔款转移到一个由无国界记者有意设立的基金会以支持那些遭囚禁的记者们。

我们感到遗憾,你的政府同僚和你的父亲持续的认为有必要保证新加坡的稳定是控制传媒和维持严刑峻法的理由。一些非常尊重报业自由的国家,比如芬兰和挪威,是和平与繁荣的民主政体。言论自由不是政治动乱的源头,事实上,这恰好相反。

你延续了你父亲的传统,继续的骚扰和恐吓新闻媒体。其结果是,除了几个专注于新加坡的网站之外,你的国家内没有新闻单位可以去报道涉及政治情势的独立性新闻与资讯。

我们期望有幸和你面对面会谈,以讨论我们所观察到的现象,以及我们对保证新加坡报业自由的建议。

恭敬的,

朱利亚
秘书长

http://www.rsf.org/Open-letter-to-Prime-Minister-Lee,36832.html

Open Letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister’s Office
Orchard Road
Istana
Singapore 238823

Paris, 25 March 2010

Dear Prime Minister,

A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like. This time it is the New York Times Co. that is a victim of this double punishment because of a compliant judicial system that always rules in favour of you and your family in all the lawsuits you bring against foreign news media.

Before the New York Times Co., you succeeded in punishing the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), FinanceAsia.com, The Economist, International Herald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal for their coverage of the political and economic situation in your country.

Threatened by a trial, the New York Times Co. apologised to you and your father, Lee Kuan Yew, for the article “All in the Family,” written by Philip Bowring and published in the 15 February issue of the International Herald Tribune. As well as an apology, this US media company had to pay 114,000 US dollars in damages.

Your lawyer, Davinder Singh, said Bowring’s article violated an “agreement” between your family and the International Herald Tribune, which was sentenced in 1994 to pay a large sum in damages for an article entitled “The claims about Asian values don’t usually bear scrutiny.”

The now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review agreed last November, after a long legal wrangle, to pay you and your father 290,000 US dollars in damages. Despite a lack of evidence, Singaporean judges ruled in favour of your family both in the original trial and on appeal without a thought for media freedom.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the judicial harassment which you and your father have practiced for years in order to prevent foreign news media from taking too close an interest in how you run your country. It does serious and lasting harm to press freedom in Singapore.

Your government has repeatedly displayed a disturbing inability to tolerate foreign journalists. Last October, for example, Ben Bland, a British freelancer who strings for The Economist and The Daily Telegraph, was denied a visa and permission to cover an APEC summit in Singapore. “I was forced to leave Singapore after the government refused to renew my work visa without any explanation,” Bland told Reporters Without Borders.

But the censorship has above all affected local media and local artistic production. In October 2009, for example, the ministry of information, communication and arts upheld a ban on a documentary by Singaporean filmmaker Martyn See about government opponent Said Zahari. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI2…

In response to the publication of the Reporters Without Borders 2009 press freedom index, in which Singapore was ranked 133rd out of 175 countries, your law minister, K. Shanmugam, described it as “absurd” and “disconnected from reality.”

Unfortunately, the facts show that we are right.

In the six years since you became prime minister and said you favoured an “open” society, we have seen very few improvements in the situation of free speech.

We therefore think your government should take the following measures as a matter of urgency:

1. Put a stop to the libel actions which you and your relatives have been bringing against Singaporean and foreign media that cover Singaporean developments in an independent manner. As the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression recently said, the prime minister, his minister and high officials must refrain from suing journalists over their articles and comments.
2. Amend the criminal code so as to abolish prison sentences for press offences.
3. Amend the press law, especially the articles concerning the granting of publication licences. The current restrictions are preventing the emergence of independent media. The film law should also be relaxed.

4. Reform the national security law so as to abolish administrative detention, which allows the authorities to imprison people because of what they think.

5. Reform the Media Development Authority so that it is no longer able to censor and can solely make recommendations about TV programmes and films.

6. Allow government opponents and civil society representatives unrestricted access to the public media.

7. Guarantee the editorial independence of all the media owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Media Corporation of Singapore (Mediacorp).

8. Transfer the money that your family has obtained in damages from foreign and Singaporean news media to a support fund for imprisoned journalists that
Reporters Without Borders proposes to set up.

We regret that you, the members of your government and your father keep citing the need to guarantee Singapore’s stability as grounds for controlling the media and maintaining its draconian laws. Countries that show the most respect for press freedom, such as Finland and Norway, are peaceful and prosperous democracies. Freedom of expression is not a source of political unrest. Quite the contrary.

You have perpetuated your father’s legacy by continuing to harass and intimidate news media. As a result, aside from a few websites specialising in Singapore, no news outlet can publish independent news and information about issues affecting the political situation in your country.

We would be very honoured to be able to meet with you in order to talk about our observations and our proposals for guaranteeing press freedom in Singapore in person.

Respectfully,

Jean-François Julliard
Secretary-General

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