Singapore’s banned publication The Online Citizen loses court offer to restore website


SINGAPORE, December 17 (dpa): Former Singapore news and commentary The Online Citizen on Thursday (December 16) lost its legal offer to restore its website and social media pages after they were removed earlier in the year.

The Online Citizen was effectively banned in September after its website and related pages were taken down for allegedly refusing to disclose foreign funding.

The publication’s attorney, Lim Tean, said Thursday that the latest 27-page ruling, which suggests the government may have licensing powers over social media pages, “makes the operation of any media in Singapore unworkable. , in particular one such as TOC, which is dedicated to promoting freedom of expression and freedom of the press. “

However, he added that the move means The Online Citizen could operate a website from outside Singapore.

The Online Citizen had lost earlier in the year a libel case involving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose father Lee Kuan Yew was the city-state’s first and longest-serving prime minister.

The family had in the past won several lawsuits against international media, which, despite Singapore’s long-standing restrictions on media and free speech, have generally sought a base in the city-state.

A rich hub of finance and investment, Singapore has been further downgraded in recent years in the ranking of press freedoms and civil liberties by organizations such as Reporters Without Borders and CIVICUS Monitor, and has not been invited to a recent “democracy summit” hosted by the United States. – dpa


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