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Three Arrested Over “Free Anwar” Banners

(FMT) – GEORGE TOWN: PKR has condemned the arrest of three party workers putting up “Bebas Anwar” (“Free Anwar”) banners and billboards in Bukit Mertajam here today.

PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin said the party workers were arrested by police at 3pm today.

“We view this as an intimidation against PKR, preventing us from trying to free our leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who has been cruelly jailed by the powers that be,” Afif said in a statement today.

It was learnt that the party workers were in the midst of setting up banners, streamers and billboards announcing the “Himpunan Solidariti #BebasAnwar #SelamatkanMalaysia” gathering and ceramah on Jan 9.

The event is being held to coincide with Anwar’s appearance at a court hearing in Penang from Jan 8 to 12.

Penang PKR Leadership Council secretary Zulkiefly Saad sent out an alert claiming the party workers would be investigated for sedition.

“Since when did the words ‘Bebas Anwar’ become seditious?” Zulkiefly questioned in a statement.

Meanwhile, Afif said PKR had duly informed police of their intention to organise the gathering and ceramah.

“We will remain unfazed by such intimidation and vow to carry on with our event as planned.”

Bernama reports that the three men arrested have since been released.

Seberang Perai Tengah police chief ACP Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said the three, who were in their 50s, were arrested while putting up a billboard in Jalan Baru, Perai, here about 3pm today.

“The police opened an investigation under the Sedition Act after receiving reports from the public regarding the installation of the billboards.

“When the investigation was carried out, police found three men installing a billboard in Jalan Baru, and we arrested them for investigation.”

He said the three were later released on police bail after having their statements recorded.

Nik Ros said three other billboards displaying the “#Bebaskan Anwar-Selamatkan Malaysia” message in Alma, Bukit Teh and Permatang Tinggi in the past two days had also been taken down by the police.

He advised the organisers to stop installing the billboards to avoid causing any problems.

Today, the Bukit Mertajam Umno division called for three billboards, believed to incite people to gather for the former opposition leader, to be taken down immediately.

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