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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

8th Bersih member stopped by Immigration


Yet another Bersih steering committee member was stopped from passing through immigration gates prior to leaving the country, bringing the total to eight.

NONEAccording to committee member Arul Prakkash (right), he was stopped at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal last Saturday on police instructions.

“The immigration officers stopped me at the gates because I was on the blacklist... and when I asked why, they said it was instructions from police,” he said when contacted.

Arul, who was traveling overseas on a business trip, said that immigration had held him back for about 30 minutes and made copies of his passport and boarding pass before letting him through.

“I kept reminding them I had a flight to catch and did not ask too many questions about the situation. I only took down the immigration officer's name for later checks with police.

“I barely managed to board my flight,” said the activist, who is also executive director of the NGO Pusat Komas.

Travelling to Sarawak next

He said that this was his first overseas trip since the steering committee was sued by the government for damages allegedly caused during the mammoth rally for clean and fair elections last April.

“I believe it is because of my involvement in Bersih. I don't have a criminal record or student loans to settle.

NONE“My next trip is to Sarawak, so we shall see if I'm allowed in. I have decided to buy a one-way ticket first, just in case,” he quipped.

Others who have been briefly stopped by immigration prior to leaving the country were Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (left, in photo) and committee members Maria Chin Abdullah (right, in photo), Wong Chin Huat, Andrew Khoo, Yeo Yang Poh, Toh Kim Woon and K Arumugam.

Wong, Ambiga and Maria also found themselves barred form entering Sarawak while committee member Ahmad Syukri Ab Razab was not allowed to enter Sabah, the state where he was born.

Bersih have decried these “unnecessary delays” as harrasment and demands it be stopped immediately.

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