Citing Sosma, cops raid EMPOWER’s office

The police have locked staff inside for the raid, while some others have been locked outside since the raid started. ― Picture taken from Twitter/Honey Tan
The police have locked staff inside for the raid, while some others have been locked outside since the raid started. ― Picture taken from Twitter/Honey Tan

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — Police today raided the office of women’s rights group EMPOWER for four hours and seized documents purported to be detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

The raid, invoked under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, started at 1pm and ended at about 5pm.

EMPOWER member and lawyer Honey Tan Lay Ean told Malay Mail Online that the officers informed the staff that the raid was in order to obtain documents pertaining to EMPOWER's accounts.

The investigation is under Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental for parliamentary democracy and which can be punished with imprisonment up to 15 years.

“The raid was disproportionate and high handed. If they wanted to see the accounts they could have just requested us,” Tan said.

Throughout the raid, the officers locked EMPOWER's staff in the office while refusing to let those who had come to the offices after the raid started to enter.

“Even lawyers were refused entry,” Tan said.

The police eventually left with about six boxes of documents.

The raid comes 10 days after a similar search of Bersih 2.0’s office, where the police arrested its chairman Maria Chin Abdullah under the same law.

Maria was released earlier today after 10 days in detention under Sosma. She is also a member of EMPOWER.