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Police Raid Empower Office

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PETALING JAYA: Police officers raided the office of Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) in Section 4 here Monday.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said in a series of tweets that a group of 10 officers arrived at the Empower office around 1pm and locked themselves inside.

No immediate reason was given for the raid.

“Police are not allowing lawyers into our office and have covered all windows with paper so those of us outside can’t see what they’re doing,” the NGO tweeted at 1.20pm.

It tweeted several minutes later that police had locked themselves inside the office, and were still not allowing lawyers to enter.

Empower is a local NGO that advocates for justice and democracy, and works with women and youth to realise their potential in areas of politics, economy, and civil liberties.

Based on information on its website, it counts Bersih 2.0 as one of its allies, while a spokesman from the organisation confirmed that they previously shared an office with the electoral watchdog.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, who is currently being detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), was also a former executive director at Empower.

The raid is taking place one day before a habeas corpus hearing to seek Maria’s immediate release from detention under Sosma is scheduled.

Habeas corpus is an order to produce a detainee before a court of law to ascertain if there are actual grounds for detention.

On Nov 18, police raided the Bersih 2.0 office in a similar manner, detaining Maria and the NGO’s secretariat officer Mandeep Singh.

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