Suaram condemns the arrests of Sivarajan Arumugam, Silvarajah Erusam, Saiful Adli Jamian and Mohd Afiq Bin Ayob under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for attending a candle light vigil in Johor Bahru on 10 January.
As the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is in general a non-arrestable offence with power to arrest only in selected circumstances, the fact that some of them were arrested and detained overnight under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was a clear abuse of power by the authorities.
Based on this fact, the arrests and detention of those attending the candlelight vigil for Khairul Nizam can only be interpreted as an unconscionable attempt to intimidate and punish human rights defenders! Such an attempt to normalise such intimidation and abuse of power must be rejected and condemned!
On this note, Suaram reminds the Royal Malaysian Police regarding the government’s commitment to the United Nations general assembly’s resolution on human rights Defenders and our constitutional right to peaceful assembly and demands that the Royal Malaysian Police cease the campaign of intimidation of civil activists and stop extrajudicial punishment!
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.