Suhakam: Rallies were ‘legal’, no need for arrests

Suhakam: Rallies were ‘legal’, no need for arrests

The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said there were no justification to arrests key organisers of yesterday’s Bersih 5 rally.

“The authorities have a constitutional duty to explain the basis of the arrests of these individuals, and to clarify the offences that they have been accused of,” said its chief Razali Ismail in a statement.

He added that Suhakam deployed observers in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, covering several assembly points.

“Suhakam also emphasises that the gatherings are not illegal and observed that the participants conducted themselves in an acceptable way, not threatening public order and the security of the country,” said Razali.

He also commended the authorities, especially the police for facilitating and managing the public assemblies, for meeting the needs of the protestors while respecting the rights of the counter-demonstrators.

Razali added that the commission will be submitting its detailed observation report to Parliament.

Politically motivated

Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan leaders have called for the immediate release all detained Bersih activists and opposition leaders picked up immediately before and after the rally.

“The people are tired with the government, as proven by the thousands who demonstrated yesterday,” said PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar in a statement.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang called the arrests a violation of the constitutional rights of Malaysians to free speech, expression and free assembly as well as obstructing elected representatives from carrying out their legitimate activities.

Kit Siang said the detention of Bersih chief Maria Chin’s under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012 as well as Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy “are particular vicious, vengeful and vindictive”.

Suhakam: Rallies were ‘legal’, no need for arrests
20 Nov 2016 – malaysiakini


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