Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA) strongly condemned the detention of 7 individuals by the Penang Police. They were detained during anti-Internal Security Act demonstration in Penang on 11/5/2008 without any valid reasons.
Yesterday gathering ( 11/5/2008 ) is part of a nationwide protest that is being held in Penang, Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Ipoh and Seremban. The purpose of the gathering is to urge the government to release all the ISA detainees and also provide proper medical treatment to Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar who is a diabetic.
DEMA reaffirm that the freedom of peaceful assembly is stated in Malaysia Constitution under Article 10 (1) (a) and (b) which guarantee the fundamental human rights where every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression and right to assemble peaceably. We are concerned with the arrests by the police as unprofessional and power abuse since the organizers of the gathering have agreed to cooperate with the police, furthermore no untoward incidents were reported. The jobs of the police are to maintain the public order during the gathering; however it has become a tool by the authority to oppress the people rights to voice up their expressions and peaceful gathering.
DEMA strongly urge the police to release all the 7 individuals without any conditions and immediately drop all the charges against them. DEMA demand the government to uphold the Federal Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights and stop any further assault on freedom of assembly. We further urge the government to respect and protect human rights as Malaysia is one of the members in United Nations Human Rights Council.
DEMA Secretary of Administration,