Political activist Han Hui Hui invited to Human Rights Defenders World Summit in Paris

Screengrab from Singaporean Voices YouTube video
Screengrab from Singaporean Voices YouTube video

Han Hui Hui, a controversial figure involved in the #ReturnOurCPF movement, is being taken seriously as a human rights activist. Not by most Singaporeans, but by the organizers of this year’s Human Rights Defenders World Summit, who’ve apparently invited the 26-year-old to speak in Paris next week.

Han announced the news yesterday afternoon on her Facebook page, indicating that she’ll be sharing about housing, healthcare, and human rights issues during the summit. It’s unclear from the website if Han will indeed be included in a major slot in the Summit’s programme, which will have plenaries, group discussions, roundtables, and workshops. But Han’s profile is featured as part of the Human Rights Defenders World Summit delegation, a “diverse and inclusive” group that will represent the voices of their communities.

Website screengrab
Website screengrab

Han will be part of a 150-strong delegation which includes the likes of Saw Zin Maung Soe, an LGBTQ rights activist from Myanmar, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, a Sudanese human rights defender, and Eva Lewis, a student activist focusing on black issues in Chicago. The group was picked out of 1,400 human rights defenders that have expressed their interest in participating in the summit — so it’s likely that Han registered herself and got in.

Slated to take place from Oct 29 to 31 at the Espace Niemeyer facility in Paris, the Summit aims to celebrate the achievements in human rights over the last 20 years and provide a platform to lay out strategies for the years to come. The first Human Rights Defenders World Summit was held in 1998, and this year’s edition would be the second time it’ll be taking place.

Han Hui Hui

Video screengrab
Video screengrab

Han has been known to be one of the central figures in the #ReturnMyCPF movement, blogging and holding rallies to speak out against Singapore’s social security, the Central Provident Fund (CPF). During a rally at Hong Lim Park in 2014, she was arrested along with five other people and was charged for organizing an illegal protest and causing a public nuisance (they were marching around the grounds and disrupted a charity event for special needs children). She was found guilty and fined $3,100 in 2016.

She contested in the 2015 General Election as an independent candidate in the Radin Mas Single Member Constituency. She lost and forfeited her $14,500 election deposit after receiving only 10 percent of the votes cast.

Last year, she was ordered by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to remove some posts she made online that claimed that judges had lied to “politically persecute” her. She had also written a blog post that alleged that she was mistreated while being locked up in a State Courts cell. The Ministry of Home Affairs refuted her false claims, and she amended her posts in compliance with the AGC’s directions.

The last time Han ever popped up in the headlines was when she disrupted a public hearing by the Select Committee on deliberate online falsehoods in Parliament House in March. TODAY reported that she had been holding up posters during the hearing, the image of which was the cover of Authoritarian Rule of Law: Legislation, Discourse and Legitimacy in Singapore, a book written by the ex-wife of Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

She had to be dragged out of the hearing room after she refused to stop holding it up.

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