Urgent Appeal on Anwar’s arrestPosted: July 17, 2008
Anwar Ibrahim Arrested: At Risk of Police Abuse of Powers
Suaram strongly condemns the high-handedness and the excessive show of powers by the police in arresting People Justice Party (PKR) de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim at his house in Bukit Segamat, Kuala Lumpur at about 1pm today.
According to his eldest daughter Nurul Izzah, the arrest was made by a contingent of special police squad with balaclava and leather jacket. Anwar was reportedly driven away in a 4WD vehicle with tinted windows, escorted by a convoy of 15 patrol cars. It was reminiscent of the forces sent to arrest Anwar Ibrahim at his home in September 1998.
Anwar was on his way home from the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) after giving a statement today pertaining to the police report that was filed by him regarding the suppression of material facts in the case involving him in 1998.
Background of arrest
Yesterday (15 July 2008), the police gave Anwar an ultimatum to be present at the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters (IPL Kuala Lumpur) at 2pm, to be questioned over the allegations of sodomy against him by a former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The police had warned that failure to do so would result in the possibility of arrest.
Despite having agreed to show up, the police arrested Anwar Ibrahim at 1pm today, before the ultimatum ended.
According to Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Bakri Zinin, the police was worried that Anwar Ibrahim would not show up at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters by 2pm and therefore decided to arrest him. This arrest was clearly an unjustified preventive arrest and a shameful tactic to intimidate Anwar and his family.
Anwar Ibrahim was arrested in 1998 and despite the assurance of the national police chief, Rahim Noor that Anwar was safe in police custody, Anwar was produced in court several days after with a black eye and severe injury of his spine. The assault was committed by none other than the national police chief himself.
Please send letters to the Prime Minister and the Inspector-General of Police to express your concerns for the wellbeing and physical integrity of Anwar Ibrahim and condemn the police for abuse of powers and high-handedness in the arrest. We urge you to protest to the Malaysian government and call on the Malaysian government to ensure:
· the safety and physical integrity of Anwar Ibrahim while under police custody
· an impartial, free and fair investigation on the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim.
· bail is allowed to be posted if he is charged with the allegations
If you are interested in sending the letters, a sample letter along with the addresses can be found HERE.
There have been a number of comments and blogs out there that have asked that the people remain calm, and not give in to provocation. DO NOT start demonstrations. DO NOT do anything that could cause a state of emergency to be called.
Stay calm, retaliate intelligently.