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Beyond The Blue Gate. Recollections of a Political Prisoner

Beyond The Blue Gate. Recollections of a Political Prisoner


This is a moving and detailed account of the author's tribulations while under detention without trial.


Singapore lawyer Teo Soh Lung has written this careful account of her experiences and feelings when detained in Whitley Detention Centre 21 from May 1987 to 6 September 1987, and from April 1988 to 1 June 1990. Accused of involvement in the alleged "Marxist Conspiracy", Soh Lung discusses many legal aspects of the case, including Singapore's banning of London QC Anthony Lester and her various Appeal attempts. She tells of the regime and her physical and emotional suffering, as well as the strategies and beliefs which enabled her to retain her integrity and balance in circumstances intended to subdue her. Relevant official documents are appended.


Watch the book launch in Singapore here

SKU: 9789810882150

    ISBN: 978-981-08-8215-0 (English)
    Published: 2010

    Dimension: 152mm x 227mm
    Extent: 392
    Finish: Paperback
    Function 8 Ltd


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    "Lawyer Teo Soh Lung’s memoir of her 21 May 1987 arrest and framing by the Singapore authorities as part of the so-called ‘Marxist Conspiracy’ is a remarkable document. Not only does it show how a person of courage and integrity can speak truth to power, but it also illustrates how that power corrupts and destroys the souls of those who wield it unscrupulously. One day a Singaporean Truth and Reconciliation Commission will determine the truth of the PAP years. Until this happens, this memoir will serve as an essential benchmark."
    - Peter Carey, Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College, Oxford

    "Teo Soh Lung’s book should be read by all people who are interested in democracy and the rule of law. Not only is it a poignant personal account of official ill treatment, but it is a brilliant testimony to the cruelty of authoritarianism, even, indeed especially -- when it comes in the guise of legal due process. This is perhaps the most shocking aspect of her story: the abuse of the law in a republic which is democratic in theory, but sacrifices its most democratic citizens to the whims of the rulers."
    - Ian Buruma, Henry R Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College

    "Beyond the Blue Gate documents vividly Soh Lung’s intellectual and emotional awareness and reflections of a person in captivity. How power blinds justice is nothing new in the world of politics. But Soh Lung’s account impressively details and transmits viscerally her physical and psychological journey whilst in detention. This book is a must-read. It not only gives the reader insights to the human condition, but it also enables one to reflect on one’s moral capacity when facing the hurdles and challenges in standing up for one’s beliefs. It’s so very important to have this literature. Thanks, Soh Lung, for taking the trouble to write it all down. Reading the accounts amazes me how sharp your memory was. It is testimony of how human cruelty can be etched so deeply in the human psyche."
    - Alvin Tan, Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage

    [The book] is about the cruel and Kafka-esque world of Lee and his security staff with their devious and bureaucratic ways, prisons and detention centers, arbitrariness, and worse, torture, all flourishing under the judges and legislators who turned a blind eye to the violations of fundamental rights of citizens, and far from holding the government to accountability, took and enthusiastic part in chastising its victims.
    - Dr. Yash Ghai, Professor Emeritus at Hong Kong University

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