PUTRAJAYA, 22 May: A total of 27 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) consisting of the Basic Rights Association, workers’ organisations and community associations urge the Umno-BN Government to stop arresting people who want to assemble peacefully.
The group of NGOs want the people’s right to assembly to demand for the rights, as provided in the Constitution to be respected by the Umno-BN Government.
The demands were stated in a memorandum submitted to the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi here.
The follow-up action was from the arrest of student activist, Adam Adli last Saturday and the charge against Seri Setia Assemblyman, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
Previously, Ahmad Zahid also stated that the police will act against those who organise assemblies protesting against the Umno-BN Government.
Malaysian People’s Voice (Suaram) activist, S Arutchelvan said that the group urges for Adam to be released immediately and for all charges against him to be dropped.
He said that the use of draconian laws on the people who are only practicing their democratic rights would give a bad image to the Police and the country.
“The government should carry out their responsibilities fairly and impartially, and the Police should be allowed to carry out their duties professionally and in accordance with the law,” he said.
The memorandum was handed over by representatives of the 27 NGOs to the Deputy Secretary of Security and Public Order of the Home Ministry, Shahril Faizalis here at the ministry building.
Arutchelvan added that the actions of the Police and the Attorney General in asking for a seven-day remand over Adam is a move which is not intended to carry out a fair investigation.
“The continued arrests of peaceful assembly organisers also tarnish the image of the Prime Minister who previously wanted to carry out a political transformation where the people’s right to speak out will be respected.
“We urge for Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi to take smart steps to defuse public anger and to stop political oppression immediately,” said Arul.
Also participating the the submission of the memorandum was the PAS Youth Elections Director, Sany Hamzan and Vice Chairman of Amnesty International Malaysia, Faizal Mustafa.