This morning, Suaram Penang coordinator Lau Shu Shi, who is also Penang coordinator for the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI), and Teh Chun Hong were released on police bail.
Shu Shi told me she is required to report to the police on 21 May to find out about a possible charge under Section 90 of the Police Act. Section 90 covers disorderly conduct in police stations and states that “any person who, in a police station behaves in a riotous, indecent, disorderly or insulting manner shall be guilty of an offence under this Act”.
She also has to report on 24 May pertaining to a possible charge under Section 27 of the Police Act. This section is about police powers to regulate assemblies, meetings and processions including the requirement for organisers to apply for a licence for an assembly.
She said she was brought to the court premises this morning but remained in the court lock-up cell without being actually produced in court. They were both later released on police bail. “So it was mala fide (bad faith),” she said. Suaram activists are arguing that there was no need to hold them overnight at the police station if they were not going to be produced in court the next day. They already had their statements recorded yesterday.
One activist at the scene told me the case was not registered for the morning. The press had turned up in full force with video camera crew but after waiting for a couple of hours, nothing happened.
Shu Shi and Chun Hong, a Suaram secretariat member who also works for Pesticide Action Network, are represented by lawyer Darshan Singh.
Both the Suaram activists had participated in an Anti-ISA gathering in Penang yesterday in support of ISA detainee and Hindraf adviser P Uthayakumar’s attempts to seek medical treatment in IJN.
The above videoclip shows how Chun Hong was detained and handcuffed yesterday soon after he had filmed the scene at the Patani Road police station.
Hmm, instead of curbing crime, they are arresting and charging peaceful activists and demonstrators.
Remember, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, when faced with an Umno-led demonstration soon after he took over the helm of the state government, had said he does not oppose peaceful demonstrations. In fact, the Chief Minister himself had recently participated at an Anti-ISA forum organised by some of the groups involved in yesterday’s demonstration.
So, if the state government doesn’t mind such demonstrations and in fact even supports the GMI campaign to abolish the ISA, whose interests were the police really serving by locking up Shu Shi, the Penang GMI coordinator, and her colleague last night?