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TIMELINE ON THE DEATH IN CUSTODY OF DINESH RAMAN S/O CHINNAIAH ON 27 SEPTEMBER 2010

6/9/89 12/12/07 Dinesh Raman s/o Chinniah born. Convicted of rioting and theft and sentenced to Reformative Training at Kaki Bukit School. 6/1/10 Released on supervision. Enlists in the army. 6/5/10 Family receives a prison recall letter saying that Dinesh should turn himself in at a police station or Reformative Training Centre immediately 26/5/10 Due to poor conduct during supervision, he is recalled to continue his Reformative Training in prison. Family decides to chastise Dinesh for his bad behaviour by refusing to visit him. Consequently, they see him for the last time in June 2010. 27/9/10 A highly disputed incident occurs at Changi Prison. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) alleges that Dinesh carried out an unprovoked attack on a prison officer in the presence of other inmates. It is reported in Today that Dinesh emerged from his cell and kicked Sergeant Lee Fangwei Jonathan in the abdomen. Eight prison officers restrain Dinesh, in a fierce struggle lasting 30 minutes according to the Straits Times. He is transported to an isolation cell and placed chest down with his face turned to the side. He is noticed to have stopped breathing. Reports say pepper spray (Oleoresin Capsicum Delivery System (OCDS)) has been used. Shortly after, he is evacuated to Changi Hospital where he is pronounced dead at 12.45pm. A Straits Times report cites the Singapore Police Force (SPF) as saying that no handcuffs were used in the restraint procedures. However, a Lianhe Zaobao report contradicts that, saying it understands that handcuffs were used. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) does not clarify. This restraint procedure is reported as having been in use since 1991. Later media reports are found to be conflicting and contradictory:

Today: [Deputy Superintendent (DSP)] Lim taps Dinesh Ramans face and his eyes are still open. Lim then turns on a tap in the cell to fill a pail with water to decontaminate the prisoner, who had had pepper spray applied to his face during the restraint operation. Officers leave Dinesh Raman unresponsive and in a prone position, in the cell.

The Straits Times: In the cell, officers placed Dinesh in a prone position and washed away the pepper spray that one of them had used to help subdue the inmate. They then left, closing the cells steel door behind them.

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While the English language papers report DSP Lim returning to check on Dinesh after a minute or two or minutes or shortly after Dinesh was put in the cell, Lianhe Zaobao says he took 30 minutes.

It is also reported that Lim was unable to pay attention to Dineshs condition because according to protocol, he went to get water to clean Dinesh. (See Breakfast Network article at http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=6377.)

Mother is informed of Dineshs death by mobile telephone. Prison Officers visit family home and inform family that Dinesh had turned violent, assaulted prison officers, was restrained and later moved to a separate cell. When it was noticed that he was unconscious, prison medical staff administered CPR. MHA notified by SPS. SPF commences criminal investigations and review of its processes and procedures for the use of Control & Restraint (C&R) techniques. Autopsy is conducted and the familys lawyer is given a copy of the report. In a statement dated 19/7/13, MHA claims On 27 September 2010, Dinesh Raman, a prison inmate, carried out an unprovoked attack on a prison officer outside his cell in the presence of other inmates. Prison officers responded to restrain him and to place him in a cell. He was left in a prone position in the cell. Shortly after, due to his unresponsiveness, he was evacuated to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was determined to be positional asphyxiation, i.e. the deceased was being placed in a prone position on the ground where he died due to breathing difficulties. Sep 2010 Death certificate, issued by the Forensic Medicine Division, Health Sciences Authority, records death as cardio respiratory failure, pending investigation. 29/9/10 Dineshs body is returned to the family. What appear to be bruises, abrasions and blood clots on various parts of his body including on the right hip, right collar bone area, left collar bone area, left cheek, left eye, left shoulder, right cheek, left knee, left hip/crotch area, right arm, right wrist, left shoulder back, left shoulder top, left chin are noticed. 30/9/10 Family had scheduled visit to Dinesh. In a letter a fortnight previous, sister wrote, I told him that I had forgiven him for returning to prison and that Im not angry any more. But I don't think he got the letter. 3/10/10 Dineshs death is reported in The New Paper. Mother is reported as saying, When I heard that he had died, I also felt like dying. 4/11/10 State Coroner, District Judge Imran bin Abdul Hamid, convenes a Mention session following completion of SPF preliminary investigations. Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mr I Iswaran, notes The post-mortem basically established the facts that the injuries were consistent with the application of C&R techniques but did not correlate them in any particular way to the cause of death.

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11/12/10 20112012

Dinesh would have been due for release. Mother approaches her MP, Mr Ang Wei Neng (Peoples Action Party (PAP)), several times for assistance. She states that communications with the SPS are inconsistent and it had not told her the full story until the criminal proceedings commenced. Mother has very limited involvement with the relevant authorities tailing off to none until the commencement of the criminal proceedings. SPF submits consolidated findings to the Attorney Generals Chambers (AGC). After reviewing findings and further clarification from SPF, AGC decides to take prosecutorial action. SPF informs Minister for Home Affairs that its investigations are complete. According to Second Minister, Mr S Iswaran, The police investigations included a thorough study of the Control & Restraint doctrine, training, protocols and techniques used in prison; it entailed meeting external experts, both domestic and international, to seek professional views and an assessment on the C&R techniques deployed; and it involved interviews with 130 witnesses comprising 72 prison inmates, 23 prison officers, eight prison medical staff, seven police officers, two CISCO officers and Dineshs next-of-kin. In total, the Police conducted 144 interviews. Police investigators also went to the United Kingdom to consult a C&R expert from the National Tactical Response Group, under the UK Ministry of Justice. MHA-appointed independent Committee of Inquiry submits report to the ministry. The findings are not made public. MHA issues a statement. It notes The Ministry of Home Affairs accepts the findings and recommendations of the Committee and has directed the Singapore Prison Service to implement them. We hold our officers to a high standard of professionalism. The Singapore Prison Service requires its officers to strictly abide by procedures and protocols, in particular when dealing with prisoners who are violent. The Ministry of Home Affairs will work with the Singapore Prison Service to determine whether other officers involved in this incident have met the required performance standards, and whether disciplinary proceedings should be taken against any of them. DSP Lim Kwo Yin is charged with Causing Death by a Negligent Act and convicted upon a guilty plea of Negligence Not Amounting to Culpable Homicide under Section 304A(b) of the Penal Code. He is fined S$10,000. No other officers are charged. In a letter to the family, the government accepts responsibility for his death and offers to pay compensation to the family. MHA commences disciplinary action against the officers involved. SPS issues a statement. It says, among other things, that it will consider records of court proceedings and assess if other actions need to be taken against Lim and the other officers. Bertha Henson writes Just How Did Dinesh Die Part 1 at

17/8/12 4/2/13

Jun 2013

19/7/13

20/7/13

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http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=6377. 21/7/13 The Straits Times reports that it took eight officers to restrain Dinesh. The SPS statement of 19/7/13 does not state this. 23/7/13 Coroners Pre-inquiry Review. State Coroner notes that the cause and circumstances connected to the death are already established in the criminal court and that, DSP Lim having pleaded guilty, there is no need to continue with the Coroners inquiry. The family disputes the findings of the criminal investigation. 24/7/13 Solicitors for the family and AGC meet the State Coroner in his Chambers. State Coroner announces he is discontinuing his inquiry. The AGC states that the government has already conducted an internal criminal investigation into the matter and that while all unnatural deaths are investigated and looked into, there is no multiplicity of proceedings that would be a drain on the states resources. 25/7/13 AGC issues a media statement. It says, The prosecution does not have powers under the law to compel the Coroner to adjourn or discontinue an inquiryWhere a finding has been made in criminal proceedings as to the cause of and the circumstances connected with the death, the Coroner has a discretion to discontinue the proceedings before him if he determines that there is no longer a need for an inquiry to take place to determine the cause of and circumstances connected with the death. 25/7/15 Noted blogger, Andrew Loh, writing at http://publichouse.sg/categories/topstory/item/905-re-open-coroners-inquiry-into-prisondeath poses searching questions which identify inconsistencies in the authorities account of Dineshs death. Quoting Minister for Home Affairs, Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister in charge of the civil service, he calls on the state to re-open the Coroners inquiry, noting, [I]n order to uphold the integrity of the service, and for justice to not only be done but to be seen to be done as well, the government should order the Coroner to resume his inquiry into the death of Dinesh Raman Chinniah. There is nothing to stop the government or the Coroner from doing so. Only by re-convening the inquiry will trust be restored. Otherwise, questions and doubts remain which will not serve the public interest. 25/7/13 Another well-known blogger, Alex Au, writing at http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/death-behind-high-walls-and-carefullyscripted-statements/ also poses serious questions regarding the facts of the case and the abortion of the Coroners inquiry. 26/7/13 Bertha Henson writes Just How Did Dinesh Die Part 2 at http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=6521. 29/7/13 Human rights organisation, MARUAH, writes a Forum letter to The Straits Times (http://maruah.org/2013/08/12/queries-on-death-of-prison-inmate-dinesh-raman-so-

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chinnaiah/). The letter is not published. It reads: We refer to the articles Fierce struggle lasted about 30 min (ST, July 20 2013) and the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) response AGC clarifies why no Coroners Inquiry was held for prison inmates death (ST Online, 25 July 2013 9.18 pm). We extend our condolences to the family of Mr Dinesh. We also raise our concerns here. The circumstances leading to Mr Dineshs death in prison leave many unanswered questions. Was Mr Dinesh a large-sized, well-built man that it needed 8 officers to subdue him? Why was pepper spray used? What if the prisoner had an allergic reaction to pepper spray? Was Mr Dinesh conscious or responsive when he was left alone in the cell? What was the nature of the investigation process into the conduct of the officers? There are contradictions in how the Coroners Act (Chapter 63A; 2012) has been interpreted in this case. The AGCs statement states that Section 39 gives discretion to the courts to not pursue a Coroners Inquiry (CI) into the circumstances of a death following the outcome of criminal proceedings. However we also have Section 25 (1)(a) of the same Chapter 63A which makes it obligatory (shall) for a CI when a death has occurred in official (police) custody or in other circumstances as outlined in the Third Schedule of the Coroners Act. We also understand that Section 25(2) of the Act allows the Coroner not to hold an inquiry if the death was due to natural causes, against public interest to do so and that Section 25(3) gives discretion to the Courts to assess for a CI based on the desires of the deceased family and/or the value in that this death may reduce the chances of other deaths occurring in similar circumstances. Based on the above Sections of the Coroners Act (Chap 63A) it is unclear why there is no CI when Mr Dineshs death is not natural, there is public interest in this case, the criminal negligence charges are against only one senior prison officer; and the contradiction that the restraint techniques used did not result in any major injury to Mr Dinesh and yet an autopsy report that cause of death was asphyxiation. This overall lack of transparency does not stand us well as a country. It is due process to affect a CI as Mr Dineshs death is not natural and it took place when he was in official custody. His rights under Articles 3, 7 and 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by our Constitution of Articles 3 and 12 all of which emphasise equal protection under the law and a right to life, liberty and security of person, need to be observed. 12/8/13 MHA announces that it has started disciplinary action against the superintendent,

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supervisors and other officers involved in the incident. No public disclosure of the details of disciplinary action is made. 13/8/13 Bertha Henson writes Just How Did Dinesh Die Part 3 at http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/just-how-did-dinesh-die-part-3/. 15/8/13 The familys newly-appointed lawyer, M Ravi, writes to the AGC requesting the Coroners inquiry be re-opened. Citing Section 25(3)(c) of the Coroners Act, he notes that the Coroner may have regard of the desire of any member of the immediate family of the deceased that an inquiry should be conducted. The family members are certain that they have never given any instruction that it was their wish to terminate the Coroners Inquiry. However, in accordance with Section 26 of the Coroners Act, the Public Prosecutor may, in any case where a Coroner has jurisdiction and the Public Prosecutor is satisfied that an inquiry is necessary or desirable, require the Coroner to hold an inquiry into the death of any person. In the case of the unnatural death of Dinesh Raman Chinniah, there has been no forensic finding on how, when and where the deceased came by his death, which is the stated purpose of an inquiry into the death, according to Section 27(1)(b) of the Coroners Act. We find that Section 25 (1) (a) of the same Chapter 63A makes it obligatory for a Coroners Inquiry to be conducted when a death has occurred in official custody. The AGC refuses to re-open the Coroners inquiry. 21/8/13 Mother files an affidavit in the High Court to seek a Mandatory Order to compel the Coroner to re-open and continue his inquiry into Dineshs death while in police custody. She claims that under Section 39 of the Coroners Act the Coroner has to continue with an inquiry unless a finding has been made by a trial judge as to the cause of death and [the] circumstances of a deceased who died in lawful custody. All that was presented to Court was a short agreed statement of facts which were agreed by the Prosecution and [DSP] Lim Kwo Yin. There was therefore nothing for the District Judge to make a finding on. She argued that the case would have been completely different had Lim Kwo Yin contested the charge. In such an event, full evidence would have had to be called by the Prosecution and the Defence. The full facts and circumstances of my sons death and his cause of death would have been ventilated and tested, after which, the District Judge would have had to make a finding on the cause of and circumstance of my sons death. Mother contends that Section 39 of the Coroners Act does not apply and the Coroner has no discretion to discontinue the inquiry: In fact, as the death occurred in legal custody, it is mandatory for the coroner to proceed with the inquiry to determine the cause of and the circumstances [of] my sons death. 21/8/13 The familys lawyer, M Ravi, issues a statement, stating, among other things, that The coroner has failed to discharge his duty in law to continue with the inquiry as there was no finding made in the criminal proceedings into the cause and circumstances of

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Dineshs death. 22/8/13 MHA issues a further statement responding to the issues raised. The statement can be read at http://www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=Mjg5NA%3d%3dTW6oEwoKoK8%3d. 26/8/13 An unnamed citizen writes to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, appealing for the full picture of Dineshs death to be revealed. The letter writer says: A life has been lostthe poor boy was not sentenced for murder or manslaughter. Yet he died in the prison in the hands of the prison officers and Singapore prison services (http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/08/26/asking-pm-lee-to-seek-justice-for-dineshraman/) 9/9/13 The government officer dealing with the case visits the family home with 2 other Chinese men. He shows mother some papers detailing the breakdown of damages to be assessed and asks her to indicate an amount; she declines. She is insistent that the perpetrators must be held accountable and justice for Dinesh must prevail. Mother states that she is told the officers involved had all been dealt with and were now consigned to non-operational jobs within the prison service. 10/9/13 MHA makes offer of compensation to the family based on a quantum that is in accordance with established principles of liability. The MHA statement of 12/9/13 (see below) further states The Government remains open to engagement with the family but is also prepared to state its position in court if necessary. 11/9/13 Mother issues Writ of Summons against the Government of the Republic of Singapore. Bertha Henson writes Just How Did Dinesh Die Part 4 at http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=7685. 12/9/13 Mr Pritam Singh, MP (Workers Party (WP)); Mr Ang Wei Neng, MP (PAP); Mr Janil Puthucheary, MP (PAP), and Mr Gerald Giam, NCMP (WP) ask questions about Dineshs death in Parliament. Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran responds, setting out the governments position. The full parliamentary exchange can be read at http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00004886WA&currentPubID=0 0004837-WA&topicKey=00004837-WA.00004886-WA_3%2Bid-9b2f8ad9-5eac-4966b574-d556aaf16d30%2B. Mr Iswaran refuses to fully disclose the Committee of Inquirys report, stating that it was not to establish criminal guilt or liability. The purpose of the Committee of Inquiry was to audit the Prison system and its processes. He notes The findings were that the control and restraint method used in the Prisons is safe, effective and appropriate. The application in this instance may have had certain aspects that were wanting but the overall system and process were found to be appropriate, safe and effective. MHA issues a statement stating that In sentencing the officer, the District Judge has also noted that there was no motive or intention to cause serious injury or the death of the deceased. This is also consistent with the pathologists report on the cause of

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Dinesh Ramans death. 13/9/13 MHA issues a further detailed statement on the case despite the matter now being before the courts. It states, among other things, The State has offered a compensation quantum calculated on the premise that Dinesh Raman would have gone to ITE and have had a stable job. This is a generous approach (The statement details other matters surrounding Dineshs death. It can be found at http://www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=MjkwNQ%3D%3DC53RVg5vWAM%3D.) MHA alleges that the family had informally suggested that they would be prepared to settle the matter for substantial windfall amounts. (MHA does not disclose the amount of compensation nor why negotiations are carried out informally despite the family having a lawyer.) Mother denies having asked for any specific amount of compensation. She says that a government officer has been contacting her continuously to get her to settle the claim. He has asked her to name an amount. She refuses so to do. 14/9/13 Mainstream media report repeats the content of the MHA statement of 13/9/13. Bertha Henson writes Just How Did Dinesh Die Part 5 http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=7736 15/9/13 Some fifty citizens publish a response to the MHA statement of 13/9/13, deploring the governments statement and demanding an apology to the family. MHA does not respond. The citizens statement can be read at http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/09/government-statement-on-dinesh-ramanreprehensible. 27/9/13 Dineshs family marks the third anniversary of his death with prayers and almsgiving at Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. 28/9/13 Civil society activists host a Memorial Service for Dinesh at Muse House, the gallery of renowned artist and Cultural Medallion winner, Teo Eng Seng. Veteran civil society activist, Constance Singam, a founding member of womens rights organisation, AWARE, delivers the memorial address (Transcript here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/jolovan-wham/constance-singam-no-society-can-callitself-civilised-if-even-one-of-its-citizen/10151662304813016). Among the 50 attendees are novelist, Suchen Christine Lim, and policy analyst, Leong Sze Hian. Reports include: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/09/citizens-remember-dinesh-raman http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/singapore-civil-society-gathersremember-dinesh-raman-160352317.html http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=7944 16/10/13 High Court hearing scheduled to hear mothers application for Judicial Review of the Coroners decision not to re-open his inquiry.

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Glossary
Alex Au Andrew Loh Blogger who writes at Yawning Bread Blogger who writes at Public House and Yahoo News; Editor of The Online Citizen Ang Wei Neng Bertha Henson PAP MP for Jurong GRC Blogger who writes at Bertha Harian and Breakfast Network. Former Straits Times journalist Constance Singam Local civil society activist and founding member of womens rights organisation, AWARE C&R Control and Restraint Technique

District Judge Imran bin Abdul Hamid State Coroner DSP Gerald Giam GRC Lee Hsien Loong Lianhe Zaobao Lim Kwo Yin Deputy Superintendent WP NCMP Group Representation (parliamentary) Constituency Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Domestic Mandarin-language daily broadsheet Deputy Superintendent in the SPF; senior-most officer involved in the incident; only officer to be charged and convicted Maruah MP MHA NMP OCDS PAP Pritam Singh Janil Puthucheary Reformative training Reformative Training Centre S Iswaran SPF SPS Teo Chee Hean Local human rights organisation Member of Parliament Ministry of Home Affairs Non-constituency Member of Parliament Oleoresin Capsicum Delivery System Peoples Action Party WP MP for Aljuneid GRC PAP MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Form of judicial punishment for young offenders Young offenders detention facility Second Minister for Home Affairs Singapore Police Force Singapore Prison Service Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Home Affairs, Coordinating Minister for National Security, minister in charge of the civil service The Straits Times Today WP Domestic English-language daily broadsheet Domestic English-language daily tabloid Workers Party

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