Sunday 3 July 2011

PSM 6 re-arrested under EO after release

Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and five other PSM members were re-arrested under Emergency Ordinance (EO) immediately after their release from seven-day remand at 2pm today.

psm jeyakumar and 5 others arrest under emergency ordinance 020711 1Apart from Jeyakumar, 56, the other members are PSM deputy chairperson M Saraswathy, 58, central committee members Choo Chon Kai, 33, M Sukumaran, 50, Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan, 49, and Youth leader Sarat Babu, 25.

According to a PSM tweet earlier, they are to be brought to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

psm released penang bersih psm treasurer sivarajanThe group was released from IPD Kepala Batas, Penang this afternoon, but re-arrested by Bukit Aman police outside the station, said PSM treasurer A Sivarajan (left, in red) during a press conference outside Butterworth court.

"The six were released... but they were still in the police compound when they were re-arrested and told they were being arrested under the Emergency Ordinance," said Nalini Elumalai, a representative of rights group Suaram. 

The Emergency Ordinance is similar to the Internal Security Act, which allows police to detain suspects for up to 60 days. 

Deputy inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar said at a press conference today that the six were arrested under section 3(1) of EO, while the remand for most of the remaining detainees will be extended by two days.

"Under the EO, we can detain them for up to 60 days."

According to him, the police have intelligence indicating interference by foreign powers trying to "harm public order" and as such action must be taken to prevent potential violence and criminal activity.
psm jeyakumar and 5 others arrest under emergency ordinance 020711 2Khalid said that a total of 150 people have been arrested so far in connection to the Bersih crackdown. 

The six detained under EO are part of 30 nabbed on June 25 while aboard a bus at the Sungai Dua toll plaza, and the party members are being investigated under Section 122 of the Penal Code for the charge of waging war against the king.

On Thursday, Penang High Court maintained that the six were to be remanded until today.

Cops a 'political tool' 

In an immediate response, PSM said the police force was being “used as a political tool by the government of the day” and was a “gross violation of human rights” and pointed out that it was an “outright political decision” by the Umno-BN government.

psm released in penang bersih 1“First (they called it) an illegal assembly, second it was sedition, third it was Printing Presses Publications Act, fourth it was waging war against the Agong and the link to the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

“After all this political drama, finally it is now the Public Order and Prevention of Crime (POPO): Emergency Ordinance,” read an email statement from PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan today.

He said the “highly inconsistent charges” only shows the ill intentions of the authorities in the recent police crackdown.

The party secretary-general demanded an unconditional release of all detained, calling upon “all international and local comrades” to put pressure on the government. 

An ISA-type detention law 

Many human rights activists consider the Emergency Ordinance as more draconian to the ISA. Like the ISA, there is no need for a magistrate's remand order for this detention. 

psm released in penang bersih 1 crowd waitingOver the years, police have resorted to the EO to detain or restrict the movement of those suspected to be gangsters and violent criminals. 

It empowers the police to hold suspects for two months for reasons of preventing any person from acting prejudicial to public order, or for the purpose of suppression of violence, or the prevention of crimes involving violence.

After the initial 60-day detention period, the Home Ministry can authorise extending the detention without trial period for two years.

Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969

3. (1) Any police officer may without warrant arrest and detain pending enquiries any person in respect of whom he has reason to believe that there are grounds which would justify his detention under section 4 (1).

4. (1) If the Minister is satisfied that with a view to preventing any person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public order it is necessary that that person should be detained, or that it is necessary for the suppression of violence or the prevention of crimes involving violence that that person should be detained, the Minister shall make an order directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years. 

Supporters gather outside Bukit Aman 

In Butterworth, Penang police chief Ayub Yaakob said the Butterworth Sessions Court granted a remand extension of two days, until July 4, for 21 of those PSM members arrested last Saturday to allow police to complete their investigations.

However, the court ordered that three of them - two youths were were minors and a woman who was sick - to be released, he said when contacted by Bernama.
d jeyakumar arrested eo crowd outside bukit aman bersih 2In Bukit Aman tonight, a group of 50 PSM supporters have gathered at the main entrance of the federal police headquarters to wait for the arrival of Jeyakumar and five others from Penang.

Keeping a close watch on the group were around 50 police officers, including 10 light strike force officers.

Among those in the crowd were lawyer of those detained, K Arumugam, PSM Cameron Highlands branch chairman Suresh Kumar, Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president Harris Ibrahim, and a number of representatives from Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia NGO.

d jeyakumar arrested eo bukit aman bersih lawyerArumugam told the police that he wanted to meet his clients, whom he was told by inside sources that they were already in Bukit Aman.

Speaking to journalists later, Arumugam said that under EO, the police have the right to deny all legal access to the detainees. 

At 9.40pm, the police gave the crowd 10 minutes to disperse, which it promptly did.

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