Eight arrested near Bar Council for defying a ban on illegal march

Despite Bar Council’s failure to obtain a Police permit, as provided under Section 27(5) of the Police Act for the planned “Festival of Rights” walk this morning, some lawyers, activists and supporters for the call to abolish restrictions on marchers without permit staged the walk on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur.

Four lawyers and four activists, which include PKR politicians R. Sivarasah and Latheefa Koya and Amir Hamzah were arrested by the Dang Wangi Police in front of the Bar Council office for defying the ban and contravene the Police Act.

Bernama.com has the story:

December 09, 2007 10:54 AM


4 Lawyers, 4 Activists Held For Participating In Illegal March

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 (Bernama) — Police detained four lawyers and four activists for taking part in an illegal march at Jalan Tun Perak here this morning.

They started the march from the Sogo Shopping Complex at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to the Bar Council building at Jalan Raja here.

Dang Wangi Deputy OCPD Supt Che Hamzah Che Ismail said they were arrested under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act 1967 for illegal assembly.

He said the lawyers and activists were taken to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters for questioning.

“The organiser did not apply for a police permit to hold an assembly. The lawyers and activists also defied police orders to disperse,” he told reporters.


Amongst the lawyers arrested was Edmund Bon, Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan’s defence lawyer in the sue by NTSP, Dato’ Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan, Brenden Pereira, Dato’ Hishamuddin Aun and Syed Feisal Al Bar. Bon was also played an instrumental role for the illegal assembly and march of 26 September 2007 Bar Council’s “Walk for Justice” from the Palace of Justice to The Prime Minister’s Office, Perdana Putra, in Putrajaya.

Despite the lawyers and marchers understand the law, process of making and enforcing law, which is enshrined within the Constitution of Federation of Malaysia, as per passed and endorsed by democratically elected representative of the rakyat, they still vehemently defied the ban and disrespectful of the law. Regardless what their motives and intentions are and whether the march is peaceful or violent, it is still an illegal assembly and it’s a felony to break the law.

It is so unprofessional for these people to defy their profession and break the law. They always profess for the ‘Rule of Law’ and they are the ones who break and defy the law. Even the HRH Rulers made reminders that law and law enforcement agencies should be respected and adhered to.

For these recalcitrants, it is clearly a case of “Cakap tak serupa bikin“!

*An update, as at 22.45hrs

An addendum to the earlier Bernama.com report, published at 20.07hrs tonight:

December 09, 2007 20:07 PM 4

4 Lawyers, 4 Activists Held For Participating In Illegal March

A group of 50 people including lawyers, activists, bloggers and members of non-governmental organisations started gathering in front of the shopping complex since 7.30am.

The gathering is not only unlawful as they did not have a police permit but they had also snubbed the Bar Council’s decision to cancel the assembly very much earlier.

The marchers, wearing surgical masks, started their “Peace Walk” half-an-hour later, passing through Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman towards the Bar Council building, about 2km away, to mark World Human Rights Day tomorrow.

About 100 policemen were seen stationed along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman till Jalan Raja as early as 7am to ensure the situation was under control.

However, there was some commotion when police ordered them to disperse as they were passing through Jalan Tun Perak in front of the old court building.

Irked by the police order, an argument ensued between the marchers and policemen, leading to the arrest of the lawyers and activists.

In the midst of the argument, some members of the group proceeded to walk to the Bar Council building.

Meanwhile, Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenavasan said she was disappointed with the police for detaining eight people, including four lawyers, for participating in the peaceful walk.

She said the people should be given the freedom to assemble peacefully.

“I believe it would have been a peaceful march if not for the police presence,” she said.

Ambiga was seen at the entrance to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters at about 10.30am presumably to negotiate the release of the eight people detained.

However, she was denied entry as police did not want her to interfere with investigations.


On another note, PKR politcian Tian Chua and PAS politician Mat Sabu was arrested earlier today, in connection with their explicit and strategic involvement in the November 10 illegal assembly and demonstration, originally planned from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara. It was understood that they would be charged for violating section 27(5) of the Police Act for unlawful assembly

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 12:46  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I was there among the hundred or so who walked to mark the World Human Rights Day tomorrow. I was shocked to see so many cops. With the increase in crime in the city, I thought our cops would have been deployed elsewhere to do other, more productive and urgent, tasks.

    Still, I must thank the men and women in blue. Without them walking with us, there would have been too few people taking part. There were over 500 cops, men and women. No FRU, just uniformed and plainclothed cops. There were generally very supportive of the walkers. I spoke to, and made friends with, some of our policemen and brothers from the Special Branch.

    Che Hamzah is not really a stranger to me. I was with the Malay Mail many years, remember. He was quite accomodating. Problem was, I think, he received some phone calls. I don’t know from whom or from where. But I had the feeling that if there had been no calls, Che Hamzah would have been happy to allow the walkers to do their peaceful Sunday walk.

    After all, he did say, “I have my human rights, too”. And that said knowing very well that we were walking for all Malaysians.


    Why can’t the organisers of today’s event, take their program to commemorate, what ever they stood for and vehemently wanted to defend in doors somewhere, instead of having it on the streets? Bar Council and even Opposition political parties have held their events indoors and Police permit issued.

    I live near a MBPJ multipurpose hall. Through the years, I see the DAP organise all sorts of BN-bashing programs there, no problem!

    Good that the Police was being professional today. When they made arrest, they are doing their job as some people defied the Police Act sect 27(5).

    The law was enacted by Parliament. MPs are democratically elected representatives. Regardless lawyers or ignorants, when the break the unlawful assembly law, they could be arrested.

  2. […] was Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s response on the arrest of some lawyers this morning at the “Freedom of Rights” walk, especially after Bar Council has been denied a Police permit few days ago, as reported by […]

  3. […] Sri Musa will be recommending to the Bar Council for lawyers who are defiant of law, such as participating in illegal assemblies and street demonstrations be barred from practising […]

  4. Artikel yg sgt menarik..terima kasih kerana berkongsi 🙂

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