SADPC marked Alan’s first week in prison

Photo by Han Thon

By Shafi’ie

Wednesday, the 8th of June marked Alan Shadrake’s one week stay in Changi Prison.

In commemoration of that day, we decided to hold a candlelight vigil to express our solidarity with the imprisoned journalist, who is currently serving his 6 weeks jail term on top of a $20, 000 fine.

We commenced the vigil at 10pm. 8 of us arranged and lighted candles, to express our support and solidarity for Alan, who had to undergo 10 months of legal battle and uncertainty for his case.

As the candles illuminated the darkness on the pavement to the entrance of Changi Prison, so have his work done the same to many people. In a place such as Singapore, investigative journalists are hard to come by. Alan represents the rare few who are undeterred by intimidations and who would carry out his duty in finding out the truth no matter the consequences.

About half an hour into the vigil, we were approached by two officials from the prison, who told us to be careful not to burn the walls with our tea light candles. They approached us again the second time, after being asked to do so by a prison officer who was knocking off work. This time, they questioned us about the intent. We informed them that we were just lighting up for Alan Shadrake and had no intentions to create havoc. Once again, we were reminded to be careful about the walls being burned.

The vigil lasted until midnight, at which point the police from Bedok Division came and told us to disperse. It struck us as odd since there have been preceding vigils for other individuals, for which none have been stopped before.

In conclusion, Wednesday was the day when we were physically in solidarity with Alan. Yet, we will always be in solidarity with him spiritually.

We know that he was never beaten. The fire in his belly has only gone stronger.

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