Iban groups stage street demo against arrest of protestors at blockade

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 30 Oct 2018

Natives of Ulu Kelawit Tatau gathering in front of the Mukah police station this morning to protest the arrests of 11 people from their kampung during a blockade against a private land developer. Pic by native

MIRI: A group of Iban natives staged a peaceful street demonstration outside the Mukah police station on Tuesday (Oct 30) morning to protest again the arrests of their community elders by the police.

The group from Ulu Kelawit Tatau alleged that the police had unjustly detained 11 of their people during a blockade against a private land developer.

The villagers had been staging a road blockade at Ulu Kelawit Tatau in order to prevent workers from a private plantation firm from entering land which they say are native customary rights (NCR) forests.

The villagers alleged that the private company intends to carry out quarrying and oil palm projects in their land.

Two days ago, 11 of the protestors were arrested when police raided the blockade, said Sarawak social activist Peter Kallang.

"During the police raid, 11 protestors, made up of 10 men and one woman, were arrested and are being held at the Mukah police station.

"The villagers said the police also forcefully dismantled the blockade.

"The natives want the police to release all the 11 without delay," said Kallang.

Kallang is chairman of environmental group Save Sarawak Rivers.

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