Police ‘examine’ report of NUS student who posted anti-death penalty notice at graduation ceremony

SINGAPORE – Police here have received a report of a National University of Singapore (NUS) student after he held up a paper with a message against the death penalty during his graduation ceremony.

‘Police confirm that a report has been filed and are investigating the matter,’ she said in response to TODAY’s questions.

They did not say who made the report or when it was made.

The student’s Twitter posts about what he did have been retweeted over 900 times and received 2,270 likes since being posted on July 11.

Mr Luke Levy, 25, a geography graduate, said in a series of tweets that he unfolded a ‘sign’ from the pocket of his graduation gown, took to the stage, posed for a picture of himself receiving a scroll of his on-stage diploma, and left the stage with the “sign” in hand.

On Twitter, he posted a picture of the “sign”, which was a piece of paper with words printed in black that read: “Abolish the death penalty. No to state murder. End poverty, not life. Blood on your hands.

Mr Levy noted in his post that the time for the graduation ceremony was ‘around the time of Kalwant Singh’s final appeal for his life in court before his execution’.

Malaysian Kalwant Singh was convicted and sentenced to death here in June 2016 for heroin trafficking. He failed in a final bid on July 6 for a stay of execution in Singapore. The 31-year-old man was hanged on July 7.

Mr Levy claimed that his walking on stage with the printed notice had been removed from the video of the ceremony which was on NUS’ YouTube account. He also claimed that the notice he was holding was censored in the official photo he purchased from the graduation event.

TODAY has contacted NUS for comment.

Mr. Levy is the co-founder of Students for a Safer NUS, a grassroots initiative among undergraduate students that sought to educate the student community on how to deal with sexual assault, so that affected students do not have to rely solely on institutional support.

Lawyers who spoke to TODAY said the graduate may have violated the Public Order Act, which regulates gatherings and processions in public places. However, the lawyers said it was questionable whether NUS would be considered a public space.

Ms. Jessica Cheung, a senior partner at the law firm Edmond Pereira Law Corporation, said that based on Mr. Levy’s act of holding the paper to him with the written message, if it turned out that he s acted well, he could be charged under Section 16 of the Public Ordinance Act.

Under Section 16, anyone who knowingly organizes a public assembly or procession without a permit may be fined up to S$5,000.

The laws here define a public assembly as a gathering or meeting the purpose of which is to show support for or oppose the views or actions of any group of people or government, to publicize a cause or campaign, or to commemorate an event.

Unlike public processions, public assemblies include demonstrations by one person.

Ms Cheung said: “Under the Public Order Act, a public place includes any place to which members of the public have access by operation of law or by express or implied permission and, more importantly, that the Access to the Site may or may not be limited to particular times or for particular purposes.

“As a result, it is entirely possible that the graduation event falls within the definition.”

However, Ms. Cheung and Ms. Nithya Devi, a lawyer with law firm Kalidass Law Corporation, said it was debatable whether NUS was considered a public space or not.

“At the end of the day, it really depends on the investigations into the whole matter, and not just based on her tweets,” Ms. Devi said, adding that the purpose of her actions is key to determining whether her actions fall within the scope of the law. public order law.

When contacted, Mr Levy told TODAY he had nothing more to say on the matter at this time, except that he wanted to repeat his argument that the death penalty should be abolished here.