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IGP’s got it wrong, rally is legal

 | May 8, 2013

Declaring today's Pakatan rally as illegal shows his poor understanding of the Peaceful Assembly Act, says civil liberties lawyer.

PETALING JAYA: The Inspector General of Police is working with a wrong understanding of the law relating to protest rallies, said a lawyer today.

IGP Ismail Omar’s declaration that a rally tonight by Pakatan Rakyat is illegal shows he is still working with the mindset of section 27 of the Police Act.

“Section 27 of the Police Act has been replaced with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. There is no such thing as permits under the PAA,” said civil liberties lawyer, Syahredzan Johan.

He said this in response to Ismail’s declaration that the rally led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim tonight in Kelana Jaya Stadium is illegal.

“The organiser must comply with the PAA. Marching without a permit, aimed at arousing anger, is wrong according to the law,” declared the IGP.

“Comply with the law and use the correct channel to apply for a permit from the district police chief,” national news agency Bernama quoted Ismail Omar as saying yesterday.

Ismail added that those who took part in the rally tonight will be arrested.

Police cannot declare rally illegal

Anwar called for the rally following allegations that the 13th general election that took place on Sunday was fraught with cheating and irregularities.

Syahredzan also explained the limitations of the police under the PAA. Among others, he said the police cannot declare a rally illegal.

“No rallies can be declared illegal under the PAA. The organisers can only be charged for not notifying the OCPD of the rally.”

The act states that rally organisers are required to notify the police 10 days prior to the rally.

“Rally participants cannot be charged for attending the rally. They are not committing an offence unless they bring their underaged children.

Also read:

Police declare opposition rally illegal

Rally to go ahead as planned


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