Three people arrested for protesting outside Ministry of Education headquarters

The activists were warned to cease their activities as they were liable for an offence. PHOTO: KIRSTEN HAN/TWITTER
The three refused to comply despite the police's repeated warnings, and were arrested under the Public Order Act at around 5.35pm. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM KIRSTEN HAN/TWITTER

SINGAPORE - Three people were arrested for taking part in a public assembly without a permit outside the Ministry of Education (MOE) headquarters in Buona Vista on Tuesday (Jan 26), police said in a statement.

The police added that the trio, whom they did not name but said were aged between 19 and 32, were released on bail at about 10pm.

Investigations are ongoing.

The three were among a group of five people who allegedly staged a protest outside the building at about 5pm on Tuesday, carrying placards stating "#FIX SCHOOLS NOT STUDENTS", "WHY ARE WE NOT IN YOUR SEX ED", "HOW CAN WE GET A's WHEN YOUR CARE FOR US IS AN F", "trans students will NOT be erased" and "trans students deserve access to HEALTHCARE & SUPPORT".

The police said that when officers arrived at the scene, only three individuals remained.

They have been identified by activists as Elijah Tay, Lune Loh and Kokila Annamalai.

They were warned to cease their activities, as they were liable for an offence, but they ignored the police's warning and continued with their activities, police said.

"The group was then issued with a 'Move-on' direction under Section 36 of the Public Order Act and were told that they would be arrested if they failed to adhere to the direction," said the police.

"The three refused to comply despite the police's repeated warnings, and were arrested under the Public Order Act at around 5.35pm," police added.

They said that five placards, two multi-coloured flags and a blue bag were seized in relation to the case.

The protesters had, at around the time of their gathering, issued a statement to the media saying they were a group of students and supporters calling on MOE to end discrimination against LGBTQ - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer - students in schools, adding that it is a longstanding issue.

The protest comes after a transgender pre-university student diagnosed with gender dysphoria said in a Reddit post this month that the MOE had blocked her from getting hormonal treatment.

The MOE had said this was not true, as it was not in a position to interfere with any medical treatment, which is a matter for the student's family to decide on.

In their statement, the police said that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal and constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act.

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