Monday, March 7, 2011

Mass HRP arrests: Appeal for donations for legal fees

A group calling itself Friends of Human Rights Defenders today appealed for public help to raise over RM400,000 in cash to assist HRP leaders and supporters recently detained in mass police arrests all through last week throughout the country.

"This is an appeal for funds and also for lawyers to help those defenders of human rights who were arrested and charged. We may also need to give allowances for those who are arrested.

NONE"We urge all Malaysians, including Chinese and Indians, to show their support and contribute (to the fund). Human rights concerns us all, not just Indians," said spokesperson N Pathmarajah.

He said that thus far RM112,000 has been spent just on bail for the 53 arrested and charged with more needed for other expenditures.

To date 53 have been arrested and charged for participating in an event organised by an illegal organisation thus far. More arrests and indictments are expected to follow.
More might be arrested
The chartered accountant projected that another 40 to 50 may soon be arrested which will incur another RM80,000 in bail alone.

"Altogether with bail, court fees and legal fees, we may be looking at RM300,000 to RM400,000," he said.

Pathmarajah said that the funds will be kept in a 'client account' and administered by his accountancy firm Pathmarajah and Co.

The group which comprised between 15 to 20 individuals, claims to be concerned citizens who are not affiliated with HRP or the outlawed Hindraf movement but are appalled by the wanton acts of the police.

The accountant also expressed his disappointment that the opposition and other civil society groups have been silent about the fate of the HRP leaders and supporters.

"This are preventive arrests by the police. If left unchallenged, the police can arrest anyone for whatever reasons they say," warned Pathmarajan.