Human rights activist Kirsten Han, who attended a vigil for the deceased death row inmate, Prabagaran Srivijyan, was summoned by the police for questioning in conjunction with her role in the vigil.
The vigil had taken place on the night of 13 July and lasted until 6AM the next morning, when Prabagaran was hanged. The organizers of the vigil had wanted to accompany the family and friends of the convicted Malaysian drug smuggler on Prabagaran’s final journey in life.
However, police officers showed up 15 minutes after the vigil started and told them that the vigil holders would not be allowed to light candles or put up photos. The participants complied and were allowed to stay outside the prison to hold their vigil.
That did not mark the end of the story for Kirsten. Police officers showed up at Kirsten’s door yesterday and summoned her for questioning over an offence of “Taking Part in a Public Assembly without a Permit”. She has been asked to present herself for questioning.
She wrote: “I understand that it is the police’s duty to protect law and order and to uphold the laws of our country. But when a simple, nonviolent, quiet vigil for a man about to be hanged by the state is deemed an illegal assembly worthy of a police investigation, perhaps it is time to think about whether we are striking the right balance between public order, freedom of assembly and compassion.”