Hindraf leader gets bail
- Hindraf leader gets bail
SINGAPORE: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Uthayakumar was on Wednesday freed on police bail in a "sedition" case in Kuala Lumpur, while the multi-racial Opposition denounced the "ongoing crackdown on political dissent" in Malaysia.
Led by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition deplored "the heavy-handed action of the authorities in the series of arrests that took place" between Sunday and Tuesday. The "brutal crackdown" was a "clear contravention of the fundamental liberties and human rights guaranteed in our Constitution," the Opposition leaders said. They urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss with them an "agenda of national unity and reconciliation," regardless of race and religion.
Several Hindraf leaders and activists, Opposition politicians, and civil liberty campaigners have been arrested for staging "illegal" rallies. While Hindraf is seeking an end to the alleged "marginalisation" of ethnic Indians, the Opposition has demanded "free and fair elections."
Mr. Uthayakumar, who was re-arrested on Tuesday shortly after he posted bail in another "sedition" case, was set free on police bail just before the expiry of the 24-hour timeline permissible for detention for investigation.
According to counsel M. Manoharan, no charges were brought against Mr. Uthayakumar, who was required to report to the police in a week.
Mr. Manoharan said "no harsh treatment" was meted out to Mr. Uthayakumar in police custody.