The police have been urged to release MyWatch chairperson R Sri Sanjeevan from detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), since he has already been charged in court.
"On 19 July he was charged in court for various offences in relation to which he was purportedly being detained under Poca.
"Why then is he still detained under the Poca despite having been charged? He should be released on court bail," said Padang Serai N Surendran in a statement today
Surendran, a lawyer, said Sanjeevan's continued detention under the highly objectionable law, illustrates how detention without trial laws can be abused.
"In Sanjeevan's case, the abuse of Poca can be clearly seen.
"Since he was arrested on June 22, he was repeatedly remanded using the ordinary provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code.
"After several remands orders, magistrates had started to reject police applications to further remand Sanjeevan.
"Then, the police resorted to the Poca to continue his detention," said Surendran.
'Why wait for police report?'
He also urged the police to take Sanjeevan's allegations of assault while in custody "seriously and carry out a thorough and impartial investigation" instead of waiting for a police report to be lodged.
"Sanjeevan's counsel had informed the sessions judge in open court regarding the alleged assault. Is that not enough for police to commence investigation?" he asked.
"All police personnel alleged to be involved should be transferred to other duties or if necessary suspended pending investigation. Has this been done?
"In this regard, it is unacceptable for the deputy IGP to announce that police will investigate if Sanjeevan lodges a police report," he said.
Sanjeevan was first arrested on June 22 on allegations of extorting RM25,000 from a gambling den operator.
Over the past three weeks, however, Sanjeevan had been released and re-arrested again and again for separate investigations under Sections 384 and 503 of the Penal Code, which deal with extortion and criminal intimidation respectively.
Human rights group Suaram has urged for Sanjeevan’s immediate release, saying that the police appear to lack sufficient evidence to recommend charges against him and yet seek to punish him.
Lawyers have filed an application to review the 21-day remand imposed on him under Poca.