Thursday 25 October 2012

Tell your men to stay off Penan blockade, IGP urged

Inspector-general of police Ismail Omar has been urged by human rights NGO Suaram to order his subordinates in Sarawak not to interfere with the Penan blockading the Murum dam construction project.

Sibu police chief Bakar Sebau's threat to take action against the natives for rioting and illegal assembly is an act of intimidation, the group said in a statement today.

NONE"This is clearly a bully tactic by the state against the Penan natives. The state is now employing police to forcibly remove the blockade to further its project...

"Suaram calls upon IGP Ismail to intervene and tell his men not to interfere in the struggle of the Penan for their rights.

"In order to bring credibility to the force, the police should be seen as a neutral party and not take sides with the oppressor," Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan said in the statement.

Thevarajan said the police needed to be educated on human rights and understand that the Penans had resorted to the blockade as a last resort and in order to protect their livelihood.

The Penan set up the blockade on Sept 25 in a bid to stop construction materials from reaching the RM3 billion dam, which is slated for completion next year.

They maintain that the dam would destroy their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and that the land offered for their resettlement is unsuitable and too small to plant their food crops.

No comments:

Post a Comment