Malaysia

Suaram to give legal aid to those detained at tomorrow’s rally

Human rights group Suaram said it will provide legal assistance to those arrested by the police in connection with the planned rally at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.

Suaram coordinator Ahmad Syukri Abd Razab said several NGOs were ready to offer legal assistance.

"PAS human rights and legal department, Lawyers for Liberty and several human rights lawyers have all volunteered to provide legal assistance to anyone arrested or intimidated by the police before, during and after the rally at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow," he said in a statement today.

"Suaram will issue a list of hotline numbers tomorrow morning on our official Facebook page and website."

He said the public could contact the Suaram office at 03-7784 3525 or sent text messages to 019-8013149 or 013-3845740, if they had any information of arrests or intimidation by the police in connection with the rally.

Ahmad Syukri also said Suaram protested strongly against the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) by the police to prevent tomorrow's rally.

He said Suaram had received information that police were looking for social activist Mohd Zul Raidy Ahmad Tarmizi in connection with the rally.

"Based on information we have received from Mohd Zul's family and friends, police are investigating him under Section 124D of the Penal Code for printing documents and publications detrimental to national security," Ahmad Syukri said.

He added that Mohd Zul was involved in the business of printing t-shirts and authorities alleged that he was printing t-shirts with seditious messages.

Mohd Zul's brother had informed Suaram that a team of policemen had visited the family home in Taiping yesterday night looking for him.

"Although Mohd Zul was not at home during the raid, police searched his room before leaving empty-handed. Police informed the brother that Mohd Zul was being investigated for allegedly printing t-shirts which had seditious words for the December 31 rally.

"Police then raided a house in Seri Kembangan which Mohd Zul was renting. His housemate told Suaram that the police team came at 1am but Mohd Zul was not around.

"The housemate was told to follow the police back to the station to have his statement recorded at 3am. He was only allowed to return home at 7am," Ahmad Syukri said.

Ahmad Syukri said Sosma is supposed to be used to prevent violence and not peaceful assemblies, adding that Mohd Zul conducted his business openly, accepting orders from the public like any other businessman.

"It is illogical for someone who operates a business openly to plan and threaten parliamentary democracy. Mohd Zul has displayed his house address and bank account number openly on his Facebook page, so there is no reason to use Sosma against him," he said.

The rally at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow is organised by the Reduce Cost of Living Movement (Turun), which has said that it is a peaceful assembly to protest against the hike of prices for goods and services.

Ahmad Syukri said police should not attempt to deflect the public's anger at the rising cost of living by taking offensive measures against the rally organisers.

He added that peaceful assembly was the right of every Malaysian and enshrined in the Federal Constitution. – December 30, 2013.

Comments