Aged 75, Alan Shadrake is a Malaysia-based British writer and journalist. He was arrested on 18 July 2010 by the Singaporean authorities while promoting his book “Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock” about the death penalty in Singapore. It contains a portrait of Darshan Singh, the chief hangman at Singapore’s Changi Prison, who reportedly executed a thousand people between 1959 and 2006.
Shadrake was held for 39 hours at the headquarters of the Singapore Criminal Investigation Department before being freed on $10,000 Singaporean dollars in bail. Despite having serious health problems, he had to sleep on the floor of his cell while held and was interrogated for hours at a time about the content of his book.
Originally scheduled for 30 July, his trial began on 18 October. He is facing a possible two-year jail sentence.