Saturday, February 16, 2008

Police Justification on Children with Roses

Malaysiakini reported 200 nabbed at rose protest by Syed Jaymal Zahiid on Feb 16, 08 11:33am
Police fired teargas and chemical-laced water cannons in a bid to disperse some 300 Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters gathered for a peaceful rose handing-over ceremony at Jalan Raja Laut early this morning.
-> Road to Parliament closed.
-> Many detained at roadblocks.

Meanwhile, on my post Is "Children With Roses" a Threat to National Security? , I have made some queries on the reason the gathering was rejected. Here is the police's reply as published in The Star Online : Not so rosy for Hindraf as cops seal off 31 roads .

Accordingly, it was said that it will not be safe for the children to be at the gathering should anything unruly happen at the gathering. Hmmn, and I thought it is the job of the police to ensure nothing unruly happens at the gathering instead. That is really weird. I would like to know whether there is any child in the crowd when the tear gas and chemical-laced water cannons are being fired since this gathering is titled "children with roses".

And it was also mentioned that the police had said: “I also turned down its appeal as I see no justification in allowing the gathering.".

Now, peaceful and freedom of assembly is actually a human right. Is it the police's role to justify whether "to call for the release of certain leaders" is a good reason for a gathering? Goodness gracious. Now, how about "protests against price hike" or "calling for clean elections"? Is it police's role to actually to justify reasons of gathering is allowable? I am very surprised.

In my opinion, it is the role of the police to allow freedom to assemble with the context of protecting the people who gathered and making sure nothing unruly happens. And I thought that is their only role. Now, they can filter out according to reasons? Hmmn, strange, strange....

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