Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hisham: Organisers must guarantee Jan 9 rally will be peaceful

The organisers of the '901-Free Anwar Campaign' planned for Monday must guarantee that the illegal rally will be held in a peaceful manner, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"The most important thing for the police is to protect and maintain public order, but at the same time in line with the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.

"It is highly likely that the organisers of the gathering must convince authorities that whatever they are planning will not jeopardise the safety of other people," he said during a press conference after the ministry's first post-Cabinet meeting of the year at its headquarters Wednesday.

When asked if the organisers had applied for any permits, Hishammuddin said so far no applications have been submitted to the police.

"Not that I know of. But there are a lot of police reports lodged objecting the rally," he said.

As of 2pm Wednesday, a total of 475 reports have been lodged nationwide against the rally, according to a police statement.

He added that no restraining order has been issued on those organising the gathering.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said he had instructed the city police chief to meet the organisers over the matter.

"The main issue is public peace and safety. I feel that all parties are responsible for this, including those who want to have the gathering.

"We are monitoring the situation every day and will take action based on the country's law and orders," said Ismail.

The '901-Free Anwar Campaign' is being held to coincide with the court verdict in the sodomy case of Opposition leader and PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, 64, is charged with sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

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