Malaysia

Lawyers sue for wrongful arrests in 2009

May 04, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — A quartet of lawyers are suing the police and government for their wrongful arrests while attempting to provide legal representation to activists detained after a candlelight vigil in 2009, Bernama Online reported today

The four — Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, 29, Murni Hidayah Anuar, 28, Puspawati Rosman, 31, and Syuhaini Safwan, 28 — named as respondents the police officers who executed the arrests, Brickfields police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid, district deputy police DSP Jude Pereira, the Inspector-general of Police and the government.

The four lawyers were arrested at the Brickfields district police headquarters on May 7, 2009 when they had sought to confer with 14 people who had earlier been arrested for holding a candlelight vigil for activist Wong Chin Huat.

Wong had been arrested for sedition after calling on Malaysians to wear black to “mourn” the death of democracy in Perak.

There, Wan Abdul Bari had reportedly barred them from meeting with the arrestees and subsequently ordered their arrest for failing to disperse from what he labelled an illegal assembly. This was said to have been done on the advice of Pereira.

The police reportedly informed the lawyers earlier that the 14 people had consented to being deprived of legal representation.

All 14 arrestees, the four lawyers, and Wong were later released the next day, May 8. No charges have been brought against any of the 19 involved.

The four are now seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages and associated  costs for the unlawful detention.