Stop Anti-LGBTQ Censorship in Singapore

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Target: Media Development Authority Chairman Niam Chiang Meng

Goal: Demand Singapore change its discriminatory new web censorship policy that prevents advocating homosexuality or lesbianism

The Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore recently announced that, starting on June 1st 2013, new regulations will come into effect preventing any website from “advocating homesexuality or lesbianism.” Many members of Singapore’s LGBTQ community are worried that the Singaporean government will use this policy to censor news of anti-gay human rights abuses. Singapore has a history of using legal action to prevent criticism of government policies, such as when, in 2008, a Singaporean blogger was imprisoned for several months following a number of anti-government remarks.

While this law will not affect Facebook or other social media sites, it will affect any and all major news sites. Singapore-hosted websites are being given twenty-four hours to either conform to these new regulations, at which point, should they fail to, they will have charges pressed against them.

This is a highly despotic step on the government of Singapore’s part; however, international criticism may encourage the MDA to relent on their enforcement of this new policy, as has traditionally been the Singaporean government’s response to controversial laws. It would be far preferable for the new rules on websites to be amended entirely, so that LGBTQ rights and those who would campaign for them do not have to suffer.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Niam Cheng Meng,

Recently your department decided to forbid Singapore licensing to any website “advocating gayness or lesbianism.” Furthermore, the new rule gives websites a mere 24 hours to make their decision regarding the new, expensive licensing. As there is reason to believe that this new regulation will be used to censor information regarding human rights abuses, or at very least criticism of the government’s stance on LGBTQ rights, this rule must be changed. If Singapore is to be a truly modern country, it must move with the times and grant rights to all of its citizens.

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, it is simply impossible to silence dissension by targeting the news media. These measures instead only make the government appear tyrannical and abusive. In order to protect the rights of the people of Singapore, we demand that the MDA amend its regulations to not forbid gay and lesbian-related activism.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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