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Malaysia: Urgent protest needed -- Socialist leader and 11 other activists detained in anti-eviction struggle

Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan being arrested.

October 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Please spread the news that the Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan (Arul) and 11 other protesters have been detained. Please contact the Mantin Police Station to question the arrests and demand the release of those detained.

Call chief inspector Rashid on 0675812222 to demand their release. Please email solidarity messages to int.psm@gmail.com.

Call 12 orang termasuk Arul ditahan polis kerana pertahan pemaju roboh Kg. Hakka, Mantin.

* * *

On September 30, 2013, in their effort to stop developers from demolishing Kampung Hakka Mantin, five residents and seven activists were arrested by police. It is also reported that one resident was injured during the commotion. Among those picked up was Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan.

Around 90 residents and activists gathered at the village in Negri Sembilan, attempting to negotiate with the developer, police and court representative, who came to demolish the houses. The negotiation broke down at 11.20 am, and the authorities proceeded to detain those trying to stop the demolition.

This is the second time authorities have arrested protesters over the century-old village.

On September 12 the village head and other protesters were similarly arrested for protesting the demolition. Arutchelvan told Malaysiakini at noon that those arrested have been taken to Mantin police station. He called the demolition today illegal as the court has given a seven-day evacuation notice served on September 25, that should only be effective on October 2. Furthermore, the residents have also filed a stay order application, which will be heard on October 17, he added.

Recounting the fracas this morning, Arutchelvan said while he was negotiating with the authorities, the police suddenly "attacked" and arrested him. As the other activists and residents tried to assist him, they got arrested as well.

The PSM leader accused the police of kicking him and the others, and said one activist was slapped so hard in the face he fell. One woman was also injured and has been hospitalised, he said. The authorities eventually stopped the demolition after tearing down three houses. The residents' lawyers have since rushed to Seremban High Court to try to obtain a stay order from the judge pending the hearing.

Later in the afternoon, Arutchelvan was jubilant that they have managed to obtain a stay.

"I have just received good news, the (Seremban) High Court has granted an interim stay until October 17. Hidup rakyat (long live the people)", he posted on his Facebook while still at the police station.

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