Strict entry requirements have been imposed on Singapore’s annual LGBT rally as part of a government crackdown.
The Pink Dot Pride celebrations in Speaker’s Corner, Hong Lim Park, have been held every year since 2009.
However, this year organisers have faced a whole score of obstacles as the government tries to prevent foreigners from attending the rally.
Authorities imposed a ban on foreign donations and visitors just days after last year’s successful rally.
In previous years, Pink Dot saw generous donations from big companies including Google, Facebook and more.
Despite the ban, the rally raised record sponsorship this year of $183,000 USD from more than 100 companies.
This is up from 18 companies in the previous year.
The government have now imposed strict entry requirements on those wishing to enter the park for the event.
As well as only Singaporeans being able to enters, participants must show their government-issued identification cards.
The park will also be barricaded to prevent foreign visitors from joining the event.
The strict regulations are unprecedented as Speakers’ Corner is intended to be an area where people can rally and protest with freedom.
Pink Dot spokesperson Paerin Choa revealed that the decision to barricade the park was an imposition by the police: “The set-up of barricades and checkpoints around the park was the only measure deemed acceptable by authorities; this was a decision taken out of our hands and is something we do not readily agree with.”
Organisers added that they were disappointed that foreign visitors had been barred from the celebration for the first time ever.
“We acknowledge that this directly impacts and separates individuals with partners, friends and family who might not be Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents and we are just as upset by this. Unfortunately, this was a decision that was taken out of our hands,” they said.
If organisers are found to have violated the restrictions implemented then they could face a fine of up to $7,228 USD or six months in prison.
Despite the restrictions, organisers have said that they have high hopes for the event which will take place on July 1.
“Couples and families wanting to commemorate Pink Dot with us may be separated because of this. But we have faith in Singapore. And Singaporeans will eventually come through as they always had in the past 8 years.”
Sex between men is still illegal in Singapore, although prosecutions are rare.