#Lawan fundraising collects nearly RM93,000 to pay for legal fees of activists nabbed during candlelight vigil

A man is arrested during a candlelight vigil organised by activist movement #Lawan in remembrance of Covid-19 victims at Dataran Merdeka, August 19, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A man is arrested during a candlelight vigil organised by activist movement #Lawan in remembrance of Covid-19 victims at Dataran Merdeka, August 19, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Youth coalition Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat have raised nearly RM93,000 over 24 hours to pay for the legal fees of 31 of its activists who were arrested for their part in a candlelight vigil last week. 

In a statement, the #Lawan organisers thanked those who contributed to the fund, promising that a detailed account of how the money is spent will be released to the public. 

“We are touched by the support given to us where we have received RM92,800 in such a short period of time, which is in one day.

“These donations involved transactions from 668 people with an average transaction of RM139 each, and many contributed around RM10 to RM20. This shows that the demands by #Lawan are carried on by every level of society in our efforts to carry Malaysia’s democratisation and its people’s survival,” the group said. 

On August 20, 31 individuals were taken into custody during a candlelight vigil held in remembrance for those who died from Covid-19 at Dataran Merdeka. 

Dang Wangi Police ACP Chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya said they were arrested for alleged assembly without notice and breaching Covid-19 restrictions, adding that compound notices were issued to the 31 participants after their statements were recorded, with a fine of RM2,000 each.

Videos on social media showed police officers dragging participants away and manhandling them. Some officers also refused to clarify if participants had been arrested despite being asked calmly.

At least one activist, Sarah Irdina from MISI:Solidariti, was also shown being assaulted by officers despite not resisting arrest.

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