Bar Council upset with arrests


  • Nation
  • Monday, 10 Dec 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council will lodge a report at the Dang Wangi police station today against City Hall officers for manhandling human rights lawyer Edmund Bon, removing banners placed at the council’s premises and trespassing. 

President Ambiga Sreenevasan said the council would write to the Inspector-General of Police to complain about the arrests of several people during its Festival of Rights event. 

Under custody: Bon being arrested inKuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Bon, the council’s human rights committee chairman, was arrested when he tried to stop City Hall staff from removing banners at an exhibition site. 

Ambiga said she went to the police station to find out what was happening and was initially denied access to the lawyers. Subsequently two lawyers were allowed to go in, she said. 

Earlier at the opening of the festival, Ambiga called on the Government to set up a group of experts to conduct a study into the grievances of people of all communities who feel they are marginalised. 

She said the study should focus on first identifying these groups, and then studying the issue of their access to resources with the ultimate aim of providing recommendations for the uplifting of the quality of their lives. 

In celebration of Human Rights Day today, she said, “The Bar Council has been both criticised and praised for cancelling our Human Rights walk. 

“With freedom comes responsibility, and likewise with leadership. When we involve the public in our activities, we have a responsibility towards them.” As a result, she said they decided to call off the walk. 

“We will never give up on our struggle for our fundamental freedoms. However, this is not only the Bar Council’s struggle, it is everyone’s struggle.”  

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