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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bar Council: We had no access to detainees


The lawyers were denied permission to see the detainees due to 'instructions from the top'.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council’s legal aid team which is attempting to assist the detained Bersih 3.0 rally participants claimed that it has not been granted access.
Yesterday morning, hundreds of thousands Malaysians swarmed through the streets to join the Bersih 3.0 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka.
However, all the detainees, believed to be 50 to 60, were released by 5am.
Syahredzan Johan, who led the team to the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak, said yesterday it is unprofessional on the part of the police to deny them access to the detainees.
“This is so unbecoming of the police. We were here [Pulapol] from 5.30pm till 12.30am and we have not been granted access.
“When we asked them the reason, they told us it was instruction from the top.”
Under section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code, an arrested person has the right to consult a lawyer. The lawyer is also allowed to be present with the detained person at the detention centre before the police question or record any statement.
Syahredzan also said that a vast majority of the detainees are not brought through the front gate.
“Similarly, we don’t know who are being released,” he said.
He added that the team of lawyers only knew about the whereabout of the detainees through family members who were waiting there.
Lawyer S Melissa, who was also at Jalan Semarak, said that some of the detainees were released at the Bandar Tasik Selatan bus terminal.
A legal aid team from Pakatan Rakyat was also not granted access.
In a related development, lawyer Fadiah Nadiah Fikri from Lawyers for Liberty claimed that a 71- year-old Leong Siew Kam is missing.
“Her family members are looking for her. They have asked the police to check but they did not receive any reply,” Fadiah said.
In another development, PKR vice-president Tian Chua has been rearrested at 3.10am.
According to Fadiah, Tian Chua, who is Batu MP, was rearrested after he protested the police’s decision to move the detainees to other places.

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