Aliran, at its 31st annual
general meeting held in Penang today, has expressed its horror at the
heavy-handed way the police responded to the Hindu Rights Action
Force (Hindraf) assembly in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
According to an Al Jazeera
correspondent who witnessed events, “police fired water cannons and
dozens of rounds of tear gas into the faces of the protesters,
turning the demonstration into a street battle.”
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Video footage by the station shows the
appalling methods employed by the police in dealing with the crowd.
The authorities have in effect criminalised the freedom to assemble
peacefully – a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
We are worried that this incident,
coming just 15 days after the Bersih assembly to demand electoral
reforms, shows that the authorities are displaying absolute disregard
for constitutional guarantees. Then, as now, the police used water
cannons and tear gas against a peaceful crowd.
At the Aliran AGM earlier today, P
Ramakrishnan was re-elected as president of the social reform group.
Also elected were Dr Francis Loh as honorary secretary, Dr Mustafa
Kamal Anuar as assistant secretary, and Anil Netto as honorary
The new executive committee comprises:
- Dr Prema Devaraj
- Gan Kong Hwee
- Dr Andrew Aeria
- Dr Khoo Boo Teik
- Dr Subramaniam Pillay
- Ong Eu Soon
- Andrew Wong
- Angeline Loh
- Raphael Surin
- Sarajun Hoda Abd Hassan
- Zaharom Nain
R Sivarajah was elected as honorary
25 November 2007