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Uthayakumar arrested this morning

Contributed by Anonymous on Monday, December 10 @ 22:15:09 CST

Uthayakumar arrested this morningDec 11, 07 10:18am
Lawyer P Uthayakumar was arrested this morning outside his home in Bangsar and taken to the Jalan Duta courts in Kuala Lumpur.

A female companion who was with him during the arrest told Malaysiakini that Uthayakumar was not told the reason of his arrest.

“They just told us that he was being taken to Jalan Duta,” she said, wishing not to be identified.

However, lawyer M Manoharan said the arrest could be related to Uthayakumar’s role in the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) organised rally on Nov 25 in Kuala Lumpur.

“I believed he will be charged for illegal assembly. There could be more arrests later in the day,” he said when contacted.

Uthayakumar is Hindraf’s legal adviser. The rally - to highlight the marginalisation of the Indian Malaysian community - attracted about 30,000 people.

Last week, 31 of the protesters were charged with the attempted murder of a policeman. They were also charged with causing mischief. Sixteen of them were charged with illegal gathering as well.

Another round of arrests have been threatened by the police.

Uthayakumar and two other Hindraf leaders - P Waythamoorthy and V Ganabatirau - are also currently out on bail on a sedition charge. Yesterday, the Shah Alam High Court ruled that the discharge order for the trio made two weeks ago was done in error.



“They just told us that he was being taken to Jalan Duta,” she said, wishing not to be identified.

However, lawyer M Manoharan said the arrest could be related to Uthayakumar’s role in the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) organised rally on Nov 25 in Kuala Lumpur.

“I believed he will be charged for illegal assembly. There could be more arrests later in the day,” he said when contacted.

Uthayakumar is Hindraf’s legal adviser. The rally - to highlight the marginalisation of the Indian Malaysian community - attracted about 30,000 people.

Last week, 31 of the protesters were charged with the attempted murder of a policeman. They were also charged with causing mischief. Sixteen of them were charged with illegal gathering as well.

Another round of arrests have been threatened by the police.

Uthayakumar and two other Hindraf leaders - P Waythamoorthy and V Ganabatirau - are also currently out on bail on a sedition charge. Yesterday, the Shah Alam High Court ruled that the discharge order for the trio made two weeks ago was done in error.
***********
Hindraf leaders face sedition trial  

P. S. Suryanarayana , The Hinu
 
Crackdown on Opposition politicians, lawyers campaigning for human rights   
 
SINGAPORE: A Malaysian High Court on Monday ordered trial of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders on sedition charges, amid an official crackdown on Opposition politicians and lawyers campaigning for human rights.

In a political punch-line, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said: “If the choice is between public safety and public freedom, I do not hesitate to say here [at a forum in Putrajaya] that public safety will always win.”

Elaborating on the remark, Mr. Badawi said: “If we are to evolve into a society that can peacefully live with media freedom, public debates, or public show of expression, the value and the burden of responsibility must lie with the ordinary people, not just with those who manage the country.”

Hinting that the Hindraf was seeking to destabilise Malaysia, Mr. Badawi said: “If voters are easily persuaded by people playing the racial card, then we are heading for disaster.”

“Who are they?”  
In a stinging rebuke of Hindraf leadership, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said: “We don’t have to dance to Hindraf’s tune? … Who are they? They don’t represent the Indian Malaysian community. If they go against the law, we will definitely take action. In fact, we have already started taking action.”

Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, expressed appreciation for what Malaysia saw as New Delhi’s stand of not extending support to the Hindraf campaign against the alleged “marginalisation” of ethnic Indians.

M. Manoharan, counsel for Hindraf in the sedition case, told The Hindu over telephone from Kuala Lumpur that Judge Abang Iskandar of the High Court at Shah Alam overturned a Sessions Court’s “discharge” of three leaders of the group. Citing the absence of a clear charge, the lower court had ordered the “discharge” of P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorty, and V. Ganapati Rao.

They were accused of making seditious remarks at a restaurant on November 16. But the absence of a transcript of those remarks was also cited for the “discharge” of these Hindraf leaders.

According to Mr. Manoharan, the Hindraf leaders were now petitioning the Court of Appeal at Putrajaya to annul the High Court’s order.

The lawyers and other activists, who were arrested for taking part in Sunday’s multi-racial march in Kuala Lumpur, an event designed to campaign for human rights, were produced in the court on Monday.

They were detained for organising or participating in a rally that was declared illegal.


 
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