Peaceful protest, brutal response

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Aliran condemns the brutal treatment meted out by the police against demonstrators protesting against electricity tariff and petrol price hikes in the vicinity of the KLCC on Sunday.

We deeply regret that the full might of the police force was unleashed upon a peaceful gathering whose only aim was to express publicly its unhappiness over the price hikes. The riot police assaulted, kicked, and clubbed defenceless and helpless demonstrators.

We remind the authorities that public expressions of dissatisfaction on the street are the normal practice in any democracy worth its name as long as the protests are peaceful.

The aggressive behaviour of the police was unprovoked. It only strengthens the resolve of civil society groups to press for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, which will go a long way in making the force more accountable.

We call upon the government to conduct an immediate probe into the harsh and brutal treatment meted out to the unfortunate protesters. Needless to say, this probe should be carried out by an independent body and not by the police.
 
Aliran Executive Committee
30 May 2006
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