Jumaat, 6 Januari 2012

Police allow 'Free Anwar' rally

Teoh El Sen

Following a meeting with PKR leaders, the police have allowed Anwar's supporters to gather at the court complex parking lot on Monday.

KUALA LUMPUR: In an apparent U-turn from its earlier stance, the police have allowed the “901 Free Anwar” rally on Jan 9 at the Jalan Duta court complex.

“After our discussions this morning, the police have granted us permission to gather at the parking lot,” Pakatan Rakyat (PKR) Youth Chief Shamsul Iskandar Amin told reporters outside the KL police headquarters.

This was after a meeting between KL police chief DCP Mohmad Salleh and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, vice-president N Surendran, strategic director Rafizi Ramli and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin for about one and a half hours here.

“We have discussed the agenda for Monday, we reached a consensus and in the spirit of the new Peaceful Assembly Act, we will make sure everything goes on smoothly on that day,” said Mohmad in a joint press conference with Azmin.

Mohmad also confirmed that the go-ahead has been given for the rally, adding that conditions will be set by the police officer in charge of the district.

Meanwhile, Azmin said more details would be revealed at a press conference at 3.30pm at the PKR headquarters.

“We have agreed to make sure that the rally on Monday will be peaceful and orderly, in line with the statements of the Home Minister and IGP,” said Azmin.

Azmin said he was “very happy” about today’s “lengthy and detailed” discussions with the police. He said the results were “positive” but refused reveal more details.

“We will always maintain keeping the peace. It is clear this is not a form of protest but more of a solidarity of the rakyat with Anwar and his fight for justice, to free him from all cruelty and wrong accusations,” said Azmin.

On Perkasa’s counter-rally on the same day and the possibility of a clash, Azmin said he would leave it to the police as PKR would not give in to any form of provocation to prevent unwanted situations.

Giving protesters space

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar said police was not disallowing gatherings but was against a street protest that would disrupt public order.

In the spirit of the new Peaceful Assembly Act, Ismail said, the police would give “space” and won’t stop the people from voicing out provided it was done in a peaceful manner.

To maintain law and order, Ismail urged would-be protesters to respect the judiciary and suggested an alternative and “proper” venue be chosen.

The opposition front announced it will gather thousands of members and supporters in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 9 when the High Court is due to deliver its verdict in the sodomy trial of Pakatan Rakyat coalition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

PKR has declared it will bring 100,000 supporters.

Although the police had initially declared the rally as illegal, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had extended an olive branch on Wednesday by calling on the organisers to guarantee that it would be held in a peaceful manner.

“The most important thing for the police is to protect and maintain public order, but at the same time to be in line with the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011,” he had said.

* Free Malaysia Today

Tiada ulasan:

Paparan Halaman