Dr. Chee Soon Juan

Re: Dr. Chee Soon Juan

To: Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister’s Office

From: Gail Davidson, Executive Director, LRWC

Date: 2006-12-04

LRWC has monitored and reported on human rights violations against Dr. Chee Soon Juan and J.B. Jeyaretnam. LRWC is aware that your government has acted to punish Dr. Chee for exercising his right as a citizen and his duty as a human rights defender to publicly express his views on human rights and other governance issues.

LRWC is writing to request that Dr. Chee be seen immediately by independent medical doctors with full authority to do everything necessary to accurately diagnose and successfully treat Dr. Chee.

LRWC is also requesting that Dr. Chee be moved either to another hospital or to a non-prison ward within Changi General Hospital.

LRWC is concerned that failure to allow immediate expert attention by independent medical doctor(s) of Dr, Chee’s choice may be seen by the international community as a further denial of his fundamental rights. Our information indicates that, at present:

  • Dr. Chee’s has lost approximately 5 kg since November 23, 2006; and,
  • Dr. Chee did not eat or retain food for a period from November 26, 2006; and,
  • Dr. Chee has blood in his urine; and,
  • Dr. Chee has extremely low blood pressure; and,
  • Dr. Chee is experiencing abdominal pain.

The onset of these conditions, coupled with the fact that Dr. Chee did not have these health problems prior to being incarcerated, suggest that the rapid deterioration in Dr. Chee’s health since November 23rd may have been caused by conditions within the prison and/or the prison ward in the hospital. The critical testing and analysis necessary to diagnose and treat Dr.Chee should not be done by medical staff employed by the prison administration. Expert and independent medical attention is urgently required.
We bring to your attention UN approved standards requiring the requested medical treatment. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (approved by the Economic and Social Council in 1957 and again in 1977), entitles prisoners to effective medical attention and treatment. Article 22 (2) provides,
2) Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals. Where hospital facilities are
provided in an institution, their equipment, furnishings and pharmaceutical supplies shall be proper for the medical care and treatment of sick prisoners,
and there shall be a staff of suitable trained officers.

The duty to ensure effective medical treatment is part of Singapore’s binding obligation to protect Dr. Chee’s right to life guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 3) and by the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore. Article 9(1) of the Constitution provides,

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in
accordance with law.

We thank you in advance for giving our request your immediate attention and look forward to receiving a response.