With or Without the Bar. AFP correspondent Romen Bose interviewed me as we were walking from Sogo to the Bar Council's heaadquaters this morning. I told him I regretted the arrests made by the police. "The action by the cops was totally unnecessary. We are walking for human rights, man, and you can see for yourself how peaceful the walk is."
We found out later that 8 lawyers and activsts had been arrested. Lawyer Haris Ibrahim, one of the lawyers who picked up where the Bar Council had left the walk, had to calm down some of the walkers. There were many cool heads. The police should have just allowed the walk to proceed.
The Malaysiakini reporter must have been a pain for the cop in charge, Supt Che Hamzah Che Ismail. "Why did you arrest them? It was a peaceful walk. Why did you stop them?"
"I have my human rights, too," Che managed.
Why did the Bar Council cancel the walk? The question played in my head over and over again throughout the walk. I am disappointed with the Bar, of course, but this morning I was proud to walk with some brave lawyers. I could almost feel how unhappy my lawyer, Edmund Bon, the chairperson of the Bar Council's Human Rights Committee, was. He had wanted so much to walk.
An hour or so after we left, they told me that Bon had been arrested for allegedly preventing some City Hall workers from bringing down some posters at the Bar Council's headquarters. The Bar marks this years World Human Rights Day (10 Dec) today.
I spoke to Bon later. "It's a sad day for (our) human rights," he said.
I was walking with many brave girls. There were about 100 walkers. More than two dozens journalists. 500 cops (the Malay Mail reporter asked Supt Che Hamzah the question). And a chopper in the sky.
Bloggers who walked include:
Nuraina Samad (Sunday Human Rights Walk ....)
Jeff Ooi (Cops outnumber People: 5 to 1)
Tony Yew (A walk too far)
Bernard Khoo aka Zorro
Michelle Gunaselan (International Human Rights Day, Malaysians Style)
Shanghai Fish (Human Rights ... What Rights?)
Shar 101 (500 MIBs, 1 whirlybird and the rest of us)
Melvin Mah (5 lawyers, 3 activists arrested).
For professional pics, go to Suzanne Lee's site.