Thursday, October 21, 2010

American May Be Caned in Singapore for Overstaying Visa

People overstay their visas in America and they'll typically wind up with citizenship, the full menu of benefits and honorary membership in the Democratic Party.

Overstay your visa in Singapore and you're subjected to a 6th century form of punishment. I suspect fans at The U might not complain too much about this.
A former Florida State University football player may become the first American in 16 years to be caned in Singapore after he overstayed his visa, his lawyer said Thursday.

Kamari Charlton, who was a reserve tight end for Florida State from 1992 to 1996, was arrested Sept. 1 when he attempted to leave the city-state 169 days after his 90-day social visit pass expired, attorney M. Ravi said.

Charlton, who was born in the Bahamas and owns a construction company there, was in Singapore while his wife received medical care for pregnancy complications, Ravi said. It was not clear why Charlton and his wife chose Singapore for medical treatment.

Staying in Singapore more than 90 days after the end of a visa is punishable with a maximum jail term of six months and at least three cane strokes.

The Attorney General's office declined to comment on the case. A judge is to meet with lawyers from both sides in a pretrial conference Friday.

If found guilty, Charlton would be the first American citizen caned in Singapore since 1994, when teenager Michael Fay was punished for vandalism.

The Southeast Asian country boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates and highest standards of living in the world, but human rights groups often criticize the government for severe punishments, such as a mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers. Singapore also reiterated a ban on the sale of chewing gum and announced a crackdown on littering this year.

No comments: