PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft NGO today slammed the arrest of its activist as well as the manner in which he was nabbed by police.
In expressing shock over K Sudhagaran Stanley’s arrest at 10pm yesterday, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) said police could have issued a notice requesting that he be present at the police station for a statement to be taken.
C4 said Sudhagaran, who is its northern region coordinator, would have offered his fullest cooperation.
“The arrest, especially in the late hours of the night, is chilling and clearly aimed at instilling fear and silencing voices that are critical of the administration of this country,” it said in a statement.
It also called for the immediate release of Sudhagaran and the investigation against him to be dropped.
Sudhagaran was nabbed over a Facebook posting on the defacing of a mural in Shah Alam which featured the portraits of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the health director-general.
Bukit Aman CID deputy director Mior Faridalathrash Wahid later said Sudhagaran would be investigated for sedition, making statements leading to public mischief and the misuse of internet services.
C4 said that heightened police investigations on human rights and anti-corruption advocates for expressing dissent in relation to matters concerning public interest “have become a cause of great concern”.
It also said it was disturbed by the narrowing of the space to express opinions and disagreement under the Perikatan Nasional government.
“While the government has a right to disagree and object to many such comments, it will place itself in higher stead if it embraces the importance of critical thinking while balancing and safeguarding the right to freedom of expression and promoting a robust civil society,” it said.
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