Two Singaporeans being investigated for allegedly taking part in public assembly without a permit

SINGAPORE - The police are investigating two Singaporeans, an 18-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, for allegedly taking part in a public assembly without a permit.

The did so in two separate incidents on 13 March and 22 March, the police said on Wednesday (April 1).

Police said they had received a report about a Facebook post that included pictures of the woman holding placards that read "PLANET OVER PROFIT", "SCHOOL STRIKE 4 CLIMATE" and "ExxonMobil KILLS KITTENS&PUPPIES" at Harbourfront Tower One on March 13.

In the course of investigating that incident, the police said they found a photo of the man holding a placard that read "SG IS BETTER THAN OIL @fridays4futuresg" in front of  the Toa Payoh Central Community Club and Toa Payoh Neighbourhood Police Centre, in Toa Payoh Central Road on March 22. The photo was circulated on social media.

The police said they are still investigating the pair and electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones have been seized in relation to the case.

The photo of the man holding the placard was posted on an Instagram account @fridays4futuresg but it has since been deleted, along with all other posts.

In the post, the user encouraged others to post pictures of themselves holding a "climate-themed sign", and wrote: "Fridays4Future SG is a youth movement advocating more ambitious climate policies to meet net-zero emissions by 2050 and secure a livable future."

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said in January that she had registered both her own name and her "Fridays For Future" global protest movement as trademarks in order to prevent them from being hijacked for fraudulent purposes.

The police have reminded the public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit in Singapore is illegal and an offence under the Public Order Act.

"The Speakers' Corner (in Hong Lim Park) is the proper avenue for Singaporeans to express their views on issues that concern them, and to allow Singaporeans to conduct public assemblies without the need for a permit, subject to certain conditions being met," the police said.