Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bar Council: High-Handed and Unwarranted Harassment by the Police - 24/10/2008

Press Release

High-Handed and Unwarranted Harassment by the Police

The Bar Council is appalled at the high-handed and unwarranted arrest and detention of K. Shanti and 11 others, including a 6-year old child, on 23 October 2008 for attempting to see the Prime Minister to seek the release of those detained under the ISA.

The efforts of these concerned citizens constitute a legitimate exercise of their rights under the law. We are perturbed that such an expression of sympathy and concern is being treated as a violation of the law. Further we have been informed that they were brought to court this morning and 10 of them were remanded for a further three days, for investigations for alleged offences under the Societies Act.

We view this as a clear case of harassment and intimidation. We have been reliably informed by the detainees' lawyers that they had always made themselves available for any investigations by the police.

We see no reason why any of these persons should be detained for investigations. Their continued detention is perceived as a form of punishment rather than any legitimate attempt by the police to investigate.

The Bar Council calls for the immediate release of those who have been detained, and a stop to the continued harassment and persecution of persons expressing dissenting views.

Ragunath Kesavan


Malaysian Bar

24 October 2008

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