Singapore chickens out on protest

2010-06-10 10:04

Singapore - A US animal rights activist said he was prevented by police on Thursday from staging a one-man protest in a chicken suit at a KFC outlet in Singapore.

Basse, a Manila-based campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said he was whisked away in a police car after he arrived by taxi outside the restaurant in a working-class district.

"I am now in my hotel room. I am under functional house arrest. I will stay in my hotel room under police surveillance until I leave tomorrow (Friday)," 24-year-old Edward Basse told AFP.

Police in Singapore, which has some of the world's toughest restrictions on protests, had no immediate comment.

"It took a long time, the questioning, perhaps a couple of hours. I was scared, but that is what I have to do for the chickens," Basse said.

"They confiscated my bags and the chicken costume, as well as the poster," he added, saying he did not expect to be charged and would leave Singapore voluntarily.

‘KFC’s cruel practices’

In Singapore, protests are only allowed at a designated public park located on the fringe of the business district. Otherwise, any public demonstration or march needs a police permit.

"I was scared but they treated me fairly okay," Basse said of his stay with the police.

"I am here now (safe) in my room, but what I went through is nothing compared to (the treatment of) the chickens."

Jason Baker, Peta's regional director based in Hong Kong, said Basse was a vegetarian outraged by KFC's allegedly cruel practices against chickens.

"He made a decision that a voice needs to be given to the animals that KFC abuses," said Baker.