Friday, 22 June 2007

SUARAM KL Press Statement: Arrests of two activists in JB a disrespect of Constitutional rights and blatant abuse of power, release the two immediatel

Press Statement: 18 June 2007

2 SUARAM activists, Nyam Kee Han and See Siew Mun, arrested for leafleting at a demonstration in Johor Bahru yesterday (17 June 2007) have yet to be released by the police. The police will obtain remand orders for the two from the Johor Bahru Magistrate Court today.

Nyam and See were leafleting at a demonstration in front of Menteri Besar's residence, Johor Bahru on 17 June 2007. The demonstration was calling for MB's attention and action on the rising crime rates in Johor Bahru. During the demonstration, the two activists distributed leaflets calling for the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). When the demonstration almost ended, the police suddenly arrested the two activists.

The arbitrary arrests are clear examples of abuse of power by the police, misusing their authority to intimidate those who tried to expose the slack attitude of the police force in resolving crimes.

SUARAM condemns strongly the arbitrary arrest of the two activists. In a time when crime rates are soaring high, the actions of the police in intimidating the activists, who were merely exercising their Constitutional rights, instead of busting crimes have yet again proven to be a waste of public monies. The police have yet again failed to carry out its duties to protect the fundamental right of the people to live without fear, but instead have instilled fear of the public by abusing their powers.

We demand that the police respect the people’s Constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and expression. We call on the police to immediately and unconditionally release the 2 arrested activists.

We further reiterate our demand on the setting up of the IPCMC – the only step that could put a stop to the blatant abuse of powers that is more and more unbecoming, as was is seen in the arbitrary arrests of the two activists in Johor Bahru.

For more information, please contact Moon Hui, tel: 012 7209981.


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