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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Police release seven Bersih staff

District police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamad said the seven detained Bersih staff were being investigated under the Police Act and the Penal Code.

PETALING JAYA: The seven Bersih staff who were detained during a raid on a premises here yesterday have been released on police bail, according to district police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed.

He said the seven – Lau Shu Shi, Temme Lee Wei Wei, Eruthayamary Sinappan, Mohamad Ikhsan Samat, Normila Noordin, Deepa Nair Balakrishnan and Ang Hiok Gai – were released last night at 11pm.

He said they were being investigated under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act and Section 109 of the Penal Code for allegedly trying to organise an illegal assembly.

Yesterday, about 10 police personnel raided the NGO office of Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower).

Bersih shares the single storey residential house-cum-office with Empower.

According to PKR supreme council member Latheefa Koya, the police arrived at about 11am yesterday and threatened to force their way into the Bersih secretariat.

“When the staff enquired the police whether they had a warrant, the police refused to answer and threatened to break down the gate. That’s when one of the staff opened the gate for them,” Latheefa told reporters.

Not only did the police seized several materials linked to the upcoming Bersih rally on July 9, the police also detained five women and two men working at the office.

Under investigation

At a press conference at the district police headquarters today, Arjunaidi, who was speaking on behalf of Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah, said his team had seized a total of 549 T-shirts linked to Bersih in the raid yesterday.

“We seized 136 pieces of green T-shirts, 91 orange T-shirts and 314 yellow T- shirts with the writings ‘Tak Mahu Pilihanraya Kotor’.

“We also seized 473 Bersih headband, four computers and 5,154 Bersih leaflets,” said Arjunaidi.

He added that they also found pictures of Samsiah Fakeh and Abdullah Sidek, former leaders of the now defunct Communist Party of Malaya in the raid.

On whether the police had recorded statements from Empower’s management, Arjunaidi said the matter is still under investigation.

Arjunaidi also refused to comment on a belief that that leftist elements had infiltrated Bersih.

“You have to ask my superiors on that,” he said.

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