Monday, February 14, 2011

Police clamp down on HRP convoys, scores arrested

At least 30 Human Rights Party (HRP) members in Selangor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur have been arrested as police came down hard on their nationwide convoys.

Six were arrested at Jelapang, Ipoh police station while five more were nabbed near Jalan Templer in Selangor, as police mounted roadblocks to stop the convoy to promote an upcoming anti-racism rally.

NONEA member of the Malaysiakini citizen journalist programme covering the convoy in Selangor had her camera grabbed from her and was hit in the face by a man believed to be plainclothes police.

In Perak, police were said to be "very harsh" towards HRP members during the arrest.

“The police raised their fists and threatened to hit (the HRP members),” an eyewitness said when contacted.

The six in Perak who were detained - Perak HRP chief P Ramesh, his deputy N Subramaniam and four other Perak HRP members - were charged with obstructing police on duty.

NONEThey were released at about 3pm under police bail.

There were similar convoys in Johor, Negri Sembilan and Kedah.

According to HRP information chief S Jayathas, who was contacted moments before he was arrested along with Selangor party chief K Selvam and three others, police also mounted a roadblock in Rawang.

“They only stopped our cars, not other road users. We staged a small protest and they let us pass.

human rights party hindraf hrp convoy 4“We have the right to use the road. They can only check our road tax and drivers' licences,” said Jayathas, who is now held at the Selayang district police station.
Around 3pm, HRP activists in a convoy of three cars were taken into custody by police officers just after they alighted from their vehicles in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.
Twenty activists had just arrived from Brickfields when police officers stopped them and took them into custody. They are currently in the Travers police station.
NONEDuring a press conference later, Brickfields OCPD Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said that 21 people were arrested and brought to the Travers police station because they were obstructing traffic and moving in a big group.

“As we know, Brickfields is a very busy area,” he told reporters at the station today.

He added that the 21 detainees will have their statements recorded and will be investigated under Section 27 of the Penal Code.

human rights party hindraf hrp convoy 2Those arrested were 15 men and five women aged above 40, and a boy aged 10.

“We hope to release them under police bail by today,” he said.

Also confiscated were 55 posters, ten flags and 200 leaflets.

“We will also return their cars when we release them,” he said.
There are reports, meanwhile, that arrests have also been made in Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
This includes 26 HRP activists who were arrested in Seremban and brought to the district police station there. Negeri Sembilan HRP chief S Sivakumar was among those held by the police.
Perkasa demonstration undisturbed
hindraf feb 27 march against interlok 030211 posterSeremban police chief ACP Saiful Azly Kamaruddin told Bernama that the group, including four children and four women, were arrested at 2.15pm as they did not have a permit.
HRP had yesterday expressed its fears of a crackdown after Perak police warned them not to proceed with the convoy.
Those detained at the Travers police station were released under police bail at about 9pm.

HRP officials informed Malaysiakini that those arrested in Seremban will be staying the night in the lock-up as they refused to remove their HRP T-shirts when instructed.
In a text message, pro-tem HRP secretary-general P Uthyakumar asked why members of Malay rights group Perkasa were not arrested when they held a demonstration in Seremban Square today.
When contacted, Perkasa Youth information chief Nurul Izham Anuar confirmed that its members had a protest gathering at the venue today.
He could not, however, offer any more details of the event.