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Saturday, July 23, 2011

90 groups demand release of EO6

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:10 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A group of about 200 people gathered outside the federal police headquarters demanding that the six detained PSM leaders be released.

KUALA LUMPUR: “Free them now! Free the detainees! Abolish the Emergency Ordinance!,” they shouted.
A few hundred people gathered outside the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters here after Friday prayers today demanding the unconditional release of six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members who are being detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO), which allows for detention without trial.
The group representing some 90 groups started gathering at 2.30pm and was led by PSM, which handed over a memorandum to the police.
“We feel that this constitutes political robbery. We are being blacklisted as human beings by the authorities,” PSM president Dr Nasir Hashim said.

“There should no longer be any considerations, release them now. We are proud to be gathering here today as we want them to know that the power of the people decides things. We pay taxes and we vote. This is unfortunate. Bersih rally is over, why detain them?” asked Hashim on a loud-hailer to a cheering crowd.
The police, who stood a distance away, showed noticeable restraint and allowed the group of about 200 or so to gather with banners condemning the police for more than an hour.
Police also moved the crowd to a shaded area at the sidewalk and monitored the crowd silently.
Addressing the crowd, PKR vice-president Tian Chua said the government is still dozing as it failed to realise it is not relevant anymore.
“This is the time of the rise of the rakyat. We will not stop here. If this memorandum is ignored, we will return in bigger numbers!” he said.
“This (protest) is not just for the six detained under the EO but to free our people, our rakyat, from the clutches of cruelty,” he added.
Earlier today, a habaes corpus application asking for the release of the six was postponed by the High Court to August.
PAS leader Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the people today are “forced to gather to protest”.
“They (six detainees) have been detained for 12 days for supposedly waging war against the King. “But we all know it is about Bersih 2.0, which actually wants to clean everything dirty in the country. We don’t want to see our country continuing with such draconian and feudal laws.”
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo questioned why the EO was still being used when the nation was obviously not in a state of emergency.
“According to the minister and police, we are still in emergency. Do we see communist coming here?”
“We will fight. This is a warning to the government. Don’t play with the people, we can determine who is the government,” said Gobind.

Women’s Aid Organisation leader Ivy Josiah said the people were not fooled by the arrest.
“You are not fooling us. For over 30 years they have been activists. They are good people… why are they in jail? EO is a lazy law when they can’t investigate properly,” said Josiah.
Activist Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said he challenged the police to bring three religious leaders and he would bring his scholars as he could prove that police action was “illegal according to Islamic statutes”.
The memorandum was handed over to public relation officer DSP Lai Lee Ching .
Previously several memorandums had been sent to the government pressuring for the release of the six detainees.
Other efforts include daily candlelight vigils, lodging mass police reports and a signature drive.
Thirty PSM members were arrested on June 26 and remanded on suspicion of waging war against the King. After the expiry of a seven-day remand period on July 2, the six were detained without trial under the EO.
The PSM EO6, as they are now known, are Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar, PSM deputy president M Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sugumaran, Youth chief R Saratbabu and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan.
The six were part of a group of 30 PSM activists who were arrested at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in Kepala Batas, Penang, while on their nationwide roadshow to call the rakyat to vote for change.

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