Thursday, July 21, 2011

Khairy breaks ranks, calls for release of EO6

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has broken ranks by calling for the release of six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

Khairy, who called the arrests “misguided” and will convey his personal view to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, is the first leader from Barisan Nasional (BN) to call for the release of the EO6.

The Rembau MP said in his Twitter posting this morning that the authorities had made the arrest based on “misguided” information, adding that he will convey this to Najib when he returns from his overseas trip tomorrow.

“I think govt acted on misleading info. I have listened to many of Dr (D) Jeyakumar’s speeches in Parliament. Intellectual & not subversive,” Khairy said, referring to the MP for Sungai Siput.

“PM @NajibRazak arriving tomorrow. Will convey my personal view that YB Dr Jeyakumar & others should be released from EO detention,” he added.

Jeyakumar and five other PSM activists were arrested in Penang seven days before the July 9 rally organised by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0, while distributing leaflets calling on the public to support the group’s demands for free and fair elections.

Their arrests were part of an internationally criticised government clampdown on Bersih activists in the build-up to the protest that saw more than 1,600 detained on the July 9 march.
While most have been freed, the “PSM 6″ are still under detention. They have been arrested under Section 121 of the Penal Code for attempting to wage war against the King.

The section reads: “Whoever wages war or attempts to do so against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or against any of the state rulers shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and a fine if not sentenced to death.”

They are also accused of attempting to “revive communism” for allegedly having T-shirts bearing the likenesses of former communist leaders.

PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan condemned the arrests and accused the authorities of “making up conspiracy theories” to justify their detention.

Edmund Bon, the lawyer representing the six, backed this claim and said that none of the affidavits filed by the police mentioned anything about communism or attempts to wage war against the King.

Umno ministers including Najib himself insisted that their detention is lawful and was done for national security.

The EO was enacted in 1969 as a temporary measure to respond to the May 13 riots, which allows for detention without trial.

No comments:

Post a Comment