There is no offence specifically for rioting in the Penal Code. However, rioters will be charged under offences relating to unlawful assembly. 

Although riots generally involve large groups of people, in Singapore, any member belonging to an assembly of 5 or more persons using force or violence to achieve a common purpose is considered guilty of rioting, also known as an “unlawful assembly”. 

Common purpose in this case refer to a show of criminal force towards:

  • The Legislative or Executive Government, or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant;

  • Any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or the use of water or other incorporeal right of which he/she is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right;

  • Any person, to compel them to perform an act they are not legally bound to do, or to obstruct them from doing what they were legally supposed to do.

  • Resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process;

  • Commit any offence;

What if a weapon is involved?

If the rioters are found to have used force or violence with a deadly weapon such as a knife or even an improvised item that can potentially kill someone, he/she will be guilty of a separate charge known as “rioting with a deadly weapon”. 

Punishment for Rioting

Rioting is an arrestable offence and if found guilty, the punishment is up to 7 years in prison and possibly caning. For rioting with a deadly weapon, the punishment is up to 10 years in prison and possibly caning.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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