The Bersih reform group has vowed to go all out ensure the abolition of Sosma after the arrest of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah under the anti-terrorism law.
Bersih steering committee member Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act was meant to silence Bersih, which seeks to ensure free and fair elections.
“The lawyers have not managed to meet Maria. And neither (do) we know where she is being detained,” she said at a press conference today, a day after tens of thousands of people took part in the Bersih 5 rally in the capital.
A counter-rally was held by the pro-establishment Red Shirts group, whose leader Jamal Md Yunos was among 17 people detained by police for alleged offences relating to the streets rallies.
In a statement earlier today, the steering committee called for Maria’s immediate release, as well as the release of others detained by the police. Yesterday, human rights activist Ambiga Sreenevasan said a writ of habeas corpus would be filed to seek Maria’s release.
Fadiah said Maria was being investigated under provisions on activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
She said Sosma was a draconian law as it carries severe punishment for those who are deemed as going against the parliamentary democracy and could be used to silence societies and critics.
At today’s press conference, four empty seats were left vacant to show solidarity with other Bersih activists detained by the police. They are Mandeep Singh, Safwan Anang and Hishamuddin Rais.
Others who have been arrested include Parti Sosialis Malaysia committee member S Arutchelvam; Perak state assemblyman Howard Lee; former Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu; the MP for Ampang, Zuraida Kamaruddin of PKR; the MP for Batu, Tian Chua; graphic artist Fahmi Redza; student activists Muhamad Luqman Nul Haqim Zul Razali and Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof and DAP members Wong Chee Wai @Jimmy Wong and Lee Khai Meng,
Gerakan Merah (Red Shirts) activists Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, Hairol Nizam Md Nor and Razali Zakaria were also among those detained.
Source : Minderjeet Kaur@FMT Reporters Online