Friday, April 27, 2012

Court order issued against Bersih rally

The police have obtained a court order against Bersih 3.0 organisers and the public from gathering at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.
Also named in the order, issued by Magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir at 8.30pm last night, was Bersih 3.0 chairperson S Ambiga.
According to a source, the police sought the order upon the instruction of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The order effectively barred anyone from gathering at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow and from holding any rally within its vicinity.
During the previous Bersih rally in July, the police only obtained a court order against 91 inviduals including Ambiga, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali from being at certain parts of Kuala Lumpur.
This time around the police included the public in its list.
Bersih: We will continue
Responding to the latest development, Bersih 3.0 steeting committee member Wong Chin Huat said they would try to get “as close as possible” to Dataran Merdeka.
“We will continue,” he vowed, adding that the authorities could do as it wished but in the end it was the will of the people that would prevail.
Himpunan Hijau 2.0 steering committee member Clement Chin also stood firm in his decision to back Bersih 3.0.
“We would back Bersih 3.0 come rain or shine. Whatever it is, we would be there tomorrow,” he told FMT.
He added that this was about solidarity and Bersih’s struggles were about fundamental rights of the common man.
“We are suffering due to corruption and poor governance. If the authorities cannot allow us from expressing our grievances, how can the government function properly?” he asked.
Bar Council: This is unecessary
Bar Council vice-president Christopher Leong said that the latest action by the police was unnecessary.
He also said the authorities seemed to be hell-bent on pursuing a head-on collission with the public on the matter.
“The police could have just facilitated this peaceful rally which would probably end in two hours time,” he added.
Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shaani Abdullah called the latest development an “over-reaction” by the police.
He also said the right to assemble was a basic human right and it was protected under the Federal Constitution.
“We are no longer in the 1960s where there were criminal elements to disrupt the nation’s security. The realities now are different and the authorities should facilitate a public rally,” he added.
The human rights commissioner said the police should not be seen as taking sides on the matter.
“But now the authorities are taking a confrontational approach. You are not helping in coming up with a solution. These are Malaysian citizens we are talking about,” he said.
Shaani backed his statement by saying that previous Suhakam inquiries showed that most rallies had been peaceful until the authorities intervened.
He also said that about 20 of his officers would be deployed to monitor tomorrow’s rally.

[Source: FMT]

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