With the current political and economical crisis that our country is facing, we have definitely forgotten about the victims who have succumbed to Covid-19 due to the incompetency of the government. If only the vaccination process was executed at a quicker pace, their innocent deaths could have been avoided.
To commemorate the lives lost during the pandemic, be it, front liners or civilians, the Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) organised a vigil at Dataran Merdeka yesterday, 19th August. This vigil was attended by various non-governmental organisations who gathered at the historical square at 8pm, with SOPs being followed.
However, what was meant to be a peaceful commemoration of the fallen souls, turned out to be a site for police brutality when police officers came to the spot and arrested the individuals immediately!
At first, they were pressured by the police and had their Identification Cards (IC) taken away. Furthermore, media personnel were forced to disperse.
DAP Wanita Selangor State Secretary, Nalina Nair filmed the entire incident on her IG Live and to be honest, it was extremely heart-wrenching to witness police abusing their power in intimidating these young activists who were trying to organise a vigil — something that has not even been done by the government!
These activists were then pulled with force and thrown into the Black Maria, like criminals, with no social distancing in place.
Following that, they were held in police custody at the Dang Wangi Police Station and at first, no lawyers were allowed into the station to represent the activists. They were finally released at around 3:00am with a compound of RM2,000 each.
Also the lawyers who didn’t manage get in was standing outside with waters ready and supportive in our debrief.
Denying our rights to lawyers is unconstitutional and not right. We will sue.
— Qyira 🏴 (@takterqyira) August 20, 2021
Qyira Yusri, co-founder of Undi18 and one of the 31 attendees who were arrested stated that they were first denied rights to see their lawyers and then, they were allowed to do so with only 3 lawyers in attendance.
Currently, the team of 31 young activists are planning not to pay their compounds and instead, they plan on suing PDRM for unlawful detention and violence and proceed with a fundraiser.
Nevertheless, this was a huge grave misconduct by the police forces and absolute abuse of power by the uniformed officers. Let’s just hope justice would prevail for these victims of police brutality. Democracy should not die!