Embarrassed NUS Silences Student Protesting Against Death Penalty

One social science graduate incensed the National University of Singapore with his anti-death penalty protest that the school censored him from the broadcast of the graduation ceremony.

Luke Levy staged his lone protest on 6 July.

While receiving his bachelor’s degree graduation certificate, he pulled out a note from his graduation gown and flashed it to the audience and cameras.

The note read:

“Abolish the death penalty. No to state murder. End poverty, not life. Blood on your hands”

Commenting on his bold deed, Luke said that he wanted to give a “space” to death row convicts Kalwant Singh, Norasharee Gous and others who have been executed in Singapore, as well as those still facing the death penalty.

“That was around the time of Kalwant Singh’s last appeal for his life in court before execution. I felt uncomfortable with this juxtaposition of being celebrated by an institution of the state that was going to murder two the next day.”

Levy has accused NUS of silencing him.

He said that NUS “tried to erase” his on-stage protest act by taking down a live recording of the university convocation and later posting an edited version of the recording.

Even his graduation photo was not spared.

“In the official stage photograph that I paid for, for my own private display, the photo studio actually took time to try and edit out the words on my sign out.”

Kalwant, a 32-year-old Malaysian, was hanged on 7 July for possessing 60.15gm of morphine and trafficking 120.9gm of the drug.

On the same day, Norasharee, a 48-year-old Singaporean, was hanged for trafficking in 120g of morphine.

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