Gross abuse of power to carry out oppression
The Bar Council, condemning police abuse of investigative powers to harass and arrest individuals, said the police could not ignore the people’s rights to free speech, assembly and association, guaranteed in the Constitution.
More than 100 people have been arrested in March, with three editors of Malaysian Insider editors, chief executive, and publisher being the latest to spend a night in a police lockup. A magistrate rejected a police application to remand them further.
Bar Council president Steven Thiru said in a statement: “The Malaysian Bar strongly urges the police to respect the rule of law and to stop abusing its investigative powers to intimidate, harass, oppress and terrorise individuals.
“The abuse of investigative powers is inimical to the right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution; and the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
“These constitutional liberties cannot be ignored by the police with impunity,” Bar president Steven Thiru said in a hard-hitting statement.
Many of the arrests were “unjustifiable” and police unnecessarily sought extended remand periods. He said overnight detention and extended remand orders without any basis only served to “terrorise individuals” and was “wholly deplorable”.
He said the police had “continued to grossly misconstrue their investigative powers” and had exercised their powers “in an oppressive manner”.