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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

IGP: Maria’s detention due to documents found during raid

Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah’s detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act is not politically-motivated or related to the recent rally, said inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.
Stressing on the need to clear the "confusion" surrounding this matter, he said Maria was arrested following the discovery of "documents" during a raid at the Bersih office in Petaling Jaya last week.
However, Khalid declined to elaborate on the documents.
"There were enough reasons for us to investigate her under Section 124C of the Penal Code, so we arrested her after the raid.
"... We arrested her and the investigation procedure is being carried out under Sosma," he told a press conference at KLIA after returning from an official trip to Manila.
"The arrest has nothing to with politics. Nothing to do with Bersih 5. It (the arrest) was for a potential threat to national security," he explained.
Section 124C concerns attempts to carry out activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Bersih is being investigated under Section 124C for receiving funds from Open Society Foundations, linked to billionaire George Soros.
"The investigation procedure is under Sosma in order to unravel all evidence, computers and documents seized.
"We all know what is the OSF and how many countries that it had 'toppled' in its own ways," he said.
Khalid clarified that Sosma, unlike the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015, has a wider scope and could be used against other forms of threats to national security.
'Police followed lock-up rules'
At the same time, Khalid also responded to criticisms over conditions of Maria's detention in solitary confinement.
"I deny that we’re treating her badly. Whatever treatment we give her is the same as other detainees.
"Why is her solitary confinement being disputed? If we place two people or five people in a cell there would also be complaints," he said, pointing out the most important aspect would be that police have acted in accordance with lockup rules.

On concerns over Maria's health, Khalid said she has been supplied with her medications and that a doctor is on standby 24-hours-a-day for all prisoners.
He also said that Maria needs to request for a mattress, after it was highlighted that she was sleeping on a wooden board.
Aside from her son who had lodged a police report on conditions of her arrest, the Malaysian Bar have also described her detention as "inhumane".- Mkini

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