Sunday 10 July 2011

Ambiga and Hadi freed, claim victory for democracy

Bersih 2.0 chief Ambiga Sreenevasan and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang were released at 6.30pm today after giving their statements to police at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters (IPK KL).

ipd kl bersih 090711 ambigaSpeaking outside of the IPK KL, Ambiga (left) congratulated Malaysians for turning out in force.

“What I can say is, again, syabas rakyat Malaysia, we were not intimidated.

“This is no longer just about electoral reform. What we have achieved today was the rakyat's wish to have a sophisticated democratic process. It has opened the rakyat's eyes, that is what has been achieved,” she said.

She was the first among the seven who are detained at the KL headquarters to be released.
Police wants all released today

ipd kl bersih 090711 ku chin wahThe seven were Ambiga, Hadi, Bersih steering committee members Maria Chin Abdullah and Jude Rubis, PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim's younger daughter Nurul Iman, and two others.

KL CID chief Ku Chin Wah (right) said that all detainees will be released by tonight.

“We hope to release all those in Pulapol (Police Training Centre) in stages by 6.30pm today and by 9pm for those at Jinjang and IPK,” he said.

Ku said that those in Pulapol will be taken back to where they were arrested and released there.
ipd kl bersih 090711 crowdShortly after, a commotion occurred outside the police headquarters as Hadi was driven out of the police compound.

Assuming that the PAS president was to be transported to another detention centre, some 50 PAS supporters that had gathered outside the headquarters began to chant "Allahu Akbar".

It was later clarified that Hadi is to be transported to his residence in Sentul and freed.

How Nurul escaped arrest

Earlier Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah showed up at the police station to visit her younger sister Nurul Iman.

ipd kl bersih 090711 nurul izzahThe visit came as a surprise as there were reports that the MP had been arrested.

"Yes, we were arrested. We were asked to get on the ground and wait there but the handcuffs were not working and there was no police around, so we left," she clarified.

Nurul claimed that the police deliberately trapped them on both sides in the tunnel of KL Sentral and fired tear gas on them.

"The police were aiming at an angle but they were ordered to aim lower," she said.

ipd kl bersih 090711 maria chin abdullahNurul said the move caused the gas canister to directly hit protestors and injuring them. Among those injured was Anwar's bodyguard who suffered a broken nose.

As of 7.50pm, Nurul Iman, Maria and Rubis were also released from police headquarters. This meant that all seven Bersih 2.0 related detainees at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent.

Speaking to reporters, Maria thanked those that supported the rally today.

"Through the presence of the people today, they have spoken loudly that they want electoral reforms," she said.
Speedy release from detention
Later this evening, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and vice-president Mahfuz Omar were released from the Jinjang police detention centre at about 9pm.
According to Lawyers for Liberty and Legal Aid Centre, at least 300 detainees transferred to the Cheras FRU Training Centre from the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) were all released in batches before 9pm today.

The first batch, comprising female detainees, was released at 6.45pm and the last batch was released at around 8.40pm.

The detainees were put on around 10 buses and sent to the nearest LRT station.

It is understood that the same process is being carried out for the 1,000-odd detainees at Pulapol in the city, with detainees being released in batches. It is not know how far the process has progressed, though it is understood that it is moving swiftly.

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