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Archive for July 12th, 2011

Press Release: The will of the people trumps Government repression and police aggression PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 July 2011 04:04pm
ImageLooking back at the events of the past few weeks, the Malaysian Government must realise and accept that neither random arrest, nor preventive detention, nor water cannons, nor tear gas, nor rain, nor the threat of any of the above and more, can quell the spirit of the people to exercise their rights to the twin freedoms of assembly and expression. The two rallies held on 9 July 2011 are eloquent testimony to the will of the people in the face of Government repression and police aggression.
The Malaysian Bar denounces the Government’s over-zealous and excessive show of power in its blatant determination to crush the people’s exercise of their Constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights.  According to media and eyewitness accounts, the police used arbitrary, improper and disproportionate physical force, including assaulting some participants physically, wantonly arresting hundreds of individuals and recklessly using tear gas and water cannons on unarmed participants who were gathered in a peaceful and disciplined manner.
The Government must never abuse its power, particularly to undermine the very freedoms that it is responsible to uphold and defend.  The elementary freedoms of assembly and expression entitle the rakyat to voice their concerns and grievances, and to call for redress.

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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Paris-Bangkok, 11 July 2011. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) strongly condemns the severe crackdown on and alleged use of excessive force by the Malaysian authorities against peaceful protesters gathering for pro-electoral reform rallies, allegedly leading to at least one death and causing injuries.
More than a hundred activists were arrested and charged by the authorities in the weeks before 9 July for their peaceful participation in the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), including for wearing the coalition’s T-shirts and possessing or handing out its leaflets. Bersih 2.0 had been planning a major rally on 9 July to call for electoral reforms.

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11 July 2011

Malaysia: Government risks undermining democratic progress, say UN experts

GENEVA – UN human rights experts* on Monday expressed their dismay at the use of tear gas and water cannons by security authorities against peaceful protestors in Malaysia on Saturday, reportedly leading to injuries and one death, and the arrest of more than 1,600 people at the Bersih 2.0 rally.
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The Election Commission reportedly made a denial that there was ballot stuffing in SK Tiong Tengah polling centre in N52 Tamin, by producing another set of voting figures (see report below) showing that the votes total there is only 190, below the voters registered at the polling centre-which was 236. Earlier MEO-Net had raised suspicion of ballot stuffing because the previous set of voting figure produced by the SPR showed that the total ballots at the polling station amounted to 304, well in excess of the voter registered there. So: which set of voting figures are correct? Did the Election Commission adjusted the figures after the 1st set was found to be suggesting ballot stuffing? MEO-Net call upon the Election Commission to disclose all the form 14 for the polling centres to clarify the situation.

There should be answers to these questions: Why are there 2 sets of voting figures? Are the figures determined immediately after the counting? The 1st set of voting figures were supplied by the Returning Officer to the PKR candidate Mengga Mikui, subsequent to the latter’s request. Mengga was unable to compile the whole detailed results of his constituency because the form 14 from some constituencies-including the one at SK Siong Tengah, were never returned to him and the Counting Agent for him in the polling centre became uncontactable after that! He suspect that the Counting Agent had been bought over by his opponent.

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2 Meo-Net members met Hii Chong Fatt this morning at around 9.00am, at BktJalil police station. We brought some food and drink for him-which the friendly police officers said are prohibited officially, but approved anyway. We went to the back of the police station where we met Hii behind a glass window. I spoke to Hii through a phone. I told him his wife called a few times to convey their support to him, though previously his activism had caused big conflict within the family. Apparently after the video on his lone protest went to air through You Tube and Malaysiakini there are close to 300 000 viewings thus far! See video here.  Many supporters have been calling Hii’s family to offer support!

Hii, in his purple lock-up attire was more interested to tell me his future plan to sue the police for mistreatment in the lock-up which he said is not fit for human. He said that his belongings were itemised at the Investigation Officer’s police station at H S Lee’s Rd (next to Stadium Merdeka), but not done similarly at the Bkt Jalil police station. So he said he was not sure if he can fully recover all his belongings -including his money, upon release. He corrected an information about his remand: the police’s remand order on him last till Wednesday-not Thursday as we were made to understand before.

The Investigation Officer Inspector Marina said that Hii had given his statement yesterday and the police will decide today whether to charge him today-thus the possibility of his release sometime today.

We will wait till his release and update everyone on Hii’s status.

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