Friday 24 August 2012

Bersih to raise RM250k for victims of police brutality

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has issued a public appeal for donations to its 'Make a difference with RM1' campaign to be used for the medical and legal expenses of victims of police brutality during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally.

TNONEhe fund will be provided to victims of police brutality who took legal action against the authorities as well as to pay for their medical expenses, the electoral reform coalition said in a statement yesterday.

Bersih said its goal was to raise RM250,000, from which RM150,000 would be used to cover bail money, legal administrative expenses and medical costs, whereas another RM100,000 will be used to fund Bersih's awareness campaign and communications.

Bersih has a team of lawyers who are offering free legal service to fight a battery of cases.

Ten members of the Bersih steering committee have been hit for damages amounting to RM122,000, which the authorities claim was caused during the rally.

"The government also wants general damages, interest and a declaration that Bersih breached Section 6(2)(g) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) despite the fact that the government has declared the PAA as a revolutionary law that would facilitate peaceful assemblies," Bersih lamented.

NONEIn addition, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has ordered Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and committee member Maria Chin Abdullah to pay RM351,203.45 for damagescaused during the same event.

The said damages include "landscaping and trees, the cost of setting up metal barricades, cost of transport and support staff, damage to signboards and barriers, as well as overtime allowances, food, drink and transport costs for law enforcers".

Bersih to launch another round of campaign

According to Bersih, about half of the money raised will be used for a nationwide awareness campaign for electoral reform ahead of the general election.

The campaign involves printing leaflets, producing cartoon video clips, the establishment of a ‘Bersih TV', conducting workshops and forums to highlight Bersih's eight demands as well as activities to bring out the youth to vote in the election.

"With your backing, the core message of 'Keluar Mengundi Lawan Penipuan' will reach far and wide, thus putting pressure on the authorities to implement the necessary changes and for you as a voter to decide wisely," said the coalition.

Donations for Bersih's RM1 campaign can be made through its CIMB account: ‘Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor', account no 12380000661-10-0.

"The funds collected will be regularly updated on our website with audited accounts made available," said Bersih.

"As the next general election looms closer, Bersih 2.0 seeks your support. The work still needs to continue and we need to work together for all of us to carry on."

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