Press Statement: 23rd May, 2012
Peaceful Vigil Turns Ugly- Police arrested 18
SUARAM records its strongest condemnation against the unlawful arrests of 18 individuals who stood in solidarity with Adam Adli in a candle light vigil outside Jinjang Remand Centre on the 22 May 2013. The demonstration of the State’s power and might with such vigor in the Adam Adli saga was clear it defied logic and reasons.
We believe the whole process of 5 days remand on Adam Adli is mala fide as the audio and video recordings of his speech as evidence is easily available on Internet. Why there was a need to remand this young activist for further 5 days in the name of investigation?
The quick response to arrest coupled with the sudden and convenient shift in investigations raised substantial conviction that the persecution was orchestrated to instil fear in legitimate dissenters. Staunch supporters gathered in solidarity on a nightly basis for Adam Adli since 18/5/2012. The crowd grew larger by the day and on 22/5/2012, with about 1,000 supporters, the police moved in and arrested 18 individuals, of whom 4 were women.
SUARAM denounces the arbitrary arrests made by the police in the guise of the unconstitutional Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. In this political motivated show of might, several detainees were physically assaulted by the police before being arrested. None of the detainees were allowed to exercise their fundamental right to counsel provided for under S28A of the Criminal Procedure Code and Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution.
Lawyers representing the detainees were unlawfully restricted and confined at the check-in gate and were not allowed to perform their duties to represent and provide advice to their clients. They were only allowed to meet their clients after a lengthy protest. The actions and/or inaction of the police amount to a wilful and unlawful obstruction of justice and fundamental rights of the detainees.
At around 2 o’clock in the early morning, all the detainees were released after their statements were taken, without the presence of their lawyers. SUARAM strongly condemns such deliberation to unlawfully detain the protesters according to the whims and fancies of top officials and questions the grounds of the arrests and detention of the peaceful supporters.
SUARAM denounces the State’s abusive display of power and might using the police and oppressive legislation. These forms of intimidation and harassment are highly unwarranted and oppressive. The victimization of peaceful dissenters grounded on the insecurities of the State is highly unacceptable and abominable.
Right to Justice