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Friday, July 29, 2011

Najib: Release of PSM 6 according to rule of law


July 29, 2011

The prime minister said today that the decision to release the PSM 6 was made by the police based on “their observations.” — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has insisted that the release of six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members from their Emergency Ordinance (EO) detention was done according to the due process of the law.

The prime minister told reporters today that the decision to release Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Devaraj Jeyakumar and five others at 5.30pm was made by the police based on “their observations.”

“We welcome it. It is up to the Attorney General to decide on further action. As a country, we hold to the rule of law,” the Umno president said after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting.

However, The Malaysian Insider understands that several younger leaders at the meeting that began at about 4pm had asked Najib to “rethink Jeyakumar’s detention.”

The six were initially held on June 25 with 24 others in the run-up to the July 9 Bersih rally for allegedly attempting to revive communism and waging war against the Agong.

Dr Jeyakumar began a hunger strike yesterday to protest the detention without trial under the EO, his wife Mohanarani Rasiah had said.

Nearly 2,000 others, who were arrested in the days leading up to and during the outlawed July 9 rally for free and fair elections, have been released.

But the continued detention of the six had garnered widespread criticism from opposition figures and human rights activists with regular candlelight vigils being held nationwide calling for their release.

The Najib administration has already suffered international criticism over its handling of the Bersih rally, with influential media such as the Guardian, Wall Street Journal and al-Jazeera taking stinging tones towards the government crackdown.

Police had dispersed tens of thousands of demonstrators calling for electoral reform on July 9 with tear gas and water cannons and arrested nearly 1,700 on the day itself, leaving scores injured and the husband of a PKR division leader dead.

The released detainees, popularly known as the EO6, are scheduled to speak to the press at 7.30pm tonight.

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