Aliran condemns the high-handed and uncalled-for police action at the dawn of the New Year against university students championing a cause that merits the support of all freedom-loving Malaysians.
The students and their leaders were protesting at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) against the oppressive and regressive Universities and University Colleges Act and in support of student leader Adam Adli Abdul Halim, who was facing disciplinary action instituted against him by the university. It is reliably learned that these students who stood up for justice and fairness were reportedly allegedly beaten up and arrested.
It is indeed shocking and revolting that one student, Muhammad Safwan Anang, was allegedly beaten up, punched and kneed until he lost consciousness. We understand that he is now in a critical condition.
The police have no right or cause to resort to this brutality in defiance of the rule of law. They cannot take the law into their hands and do as they like. Malaysia is not a police state.
This harsh and cruel treatment by the police meted out against the students flies in the face of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s purported pledge to reform the rules governing universities and university colleges in the country. What has transpired has only raised doubts about the credibility of the PM’s Transformation Agenda. Worse, it makes a mockery of internationally accepted norms of promoting academic freedom and freedom of expression amongst students and lecturers.
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Right-thinking Malaysians should be reminded that promoting much-cherished academic freedom and freedom of expression is not a criminal act that deserves ruthless treatment by the police. If anything, it is expected of students and lecturers, apart from other concerned Malaysians, to champion such a noble cause with dedication and determination.
We call upon the Home Minister and the Inspector-General of Police to haul up the police officers responsible for this ghastly and violent action in the early hours of the morning of 2012. We don’t need blood and inhumane actions to usher in the New Year.
Aliran Executive Committee
1 January 2012