Shaming may hurt efforts to rehabilitate radicals

Having previously argued in an objective fashion for the publication of terrorists' photos in the media (Don't spare terrorists adverse media publicity, March 25), Ms Florence Veronica Minjoot's latest argument on the subject seems to veer towards shaming as a deterrent (Why not show photos of radicalised three?, July 1).

First, we have to differentiate between terrorists and those radicalised towards terrorist ideas.

Those radicalised towards terrorist ideas were caught before they could put their beliefs into action and harm others.

In fact, it was reported that some of the radicalised citizens had shown signs of a change of heart, which would be a valuable entry point for rehabilitation efforts (Three radicalised persons dealt with under ISA, June 26).

The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced that four Singaporeans, aged between 24 and 50, had been released from detention with restrictions after they showed good progress in their rehabilitation.

Whatever value shaming may have as a strategy to combat terrorism, there is a need to strike a balance between public awareness of these radicalised citizens and public support of the rehabilitation process.

Whatever value shaming may have as a strategy to combat terrorism, there is a need to strike a balance between public awareness of these radicalised citizens and public support of the rehabilitation process.

Publishing their photos, and in doing so shaming their relatives, may do more to punish than rehabilitate these radicalised citizens.

Osman Sidek

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline 'Shaming may hurt efforts to rehabilitate radicals'. Print Edition | Subscribe