Police this afternoon raided the office of the women’s rights group, Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti (Empower), in Section 4, Petaling Jaya for investigations into activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy and under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
Empower member and lawyer Honey Tan Lay Ean told FMT that this was the exact procedure police had used when they arrested Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah after they raided the Bersih office on Nov 18.
Empower, which was also founded by Chin, is an advocacy group aimed at encouraging female participation in the political process.
The women’s rights group had previously shared an office with Bersih 2.0, before relocating last year.
According to a tweet by Empower, 10 officers raided the office at about 1pm today. No reasons were given by the raiding party.
Empower had also tweeted: “Police are not allowing lawyers into our office and have covered all windows with paper so those of us outside can’t see what they’re doing”.
Tan described the raid today as quiet and eerie, noting that this was unlike the previous police raid in 2011.
“This is unlike what I call a usual raid. In 2011 when Empower was raided, it was normal because there was an excess of 20 police officers in uniforms and plainclothes around.
“It’s very quiet and eerie when we are waiting outside the gates of the office.”
Maria, who was arrested a day before the Bersih 5 rally is currently being held in solitary confinement at an undisclosed location.
Her lawyer, R. Sivarasa said that Maria is being kept in a cell with no windows and a light bulb which remains fully lit for 24 hours, depriving her of proper sleep.
Source : Tarrence Tan@FMT Reporters Online