BY UMSU PRESS
A group of youths from Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) decided to hold a candlelight vigil to remember the thousands of lives that were lost due to Covid-19 pandemic. This memorial was organized at Dataran Merdeka, 8pm on 19 August 2021.
However, the police arrived and started harassing the peaceful participants with unnecessary violence and brutal force. The police had taken away their identity cards and dragged the on-site participants into the waiting Black Marias.
One of the victims, Nalina, recorded the whole process in her Instagram live. The police reportedly failed to acknowledge the participants that they were being arrested nor were their rights read to them. A total of 31 people were then sent to Dang Wangi police station for documentation and compound.
Based on an official statement from SSR, it mentioned that the lawyers who wished to provide legal assistance to the participants, were blocked from entering the police station. Until 10.19 pm, only two of the lawyers are allowed to get in to make reports and assist the participants. SSR strongly criticized the authorities for misusing their power to silence the peaceful voices.
Furthermore, TheVibesNews tweeted that IGP Datuk Seri Acryl Sani had confirmed that police will release participants of tonight's candlelight vigil after they have been compounded for violating the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act. However, ironically, the police forced them into a confined space by occupying the Black Marias fully without following the SOP.
All in all, the public are outraged by the injustice that happened to the individuals, calling for the authorities to release those who were detained at the police station immediately. It is completely unnecessary, disproportionate and a violation of participants’ rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
At 1.21 am, MSolidariti mentioned that all participants were released and thanked all the support given.
Written by Secretary of Current Affairs 2021/2022
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