Saturday, June 7, 2008

A point of Law

This thing can be stressful! There is a good kind of stress, and a bad one. A happy kind of stress, and one that is not so happy.

The conference organizers were so outraged at the arrests, that they invited the 3 to the conference. It is closing today, and so, the three are supposed to be there.

Except that the first one to arrive was recognized. And ‘held’, not arrested. Diplomatic negotiations ensued, involving a lot of VIPs. So, it was apparently agreed that since they have been officially invited, they can attend. And they can talk, in some places!

So, they are not at risk of arrest for ‘criminal trespass’ at the moment. And they seem to have negotiated some kind of armed truce! Though the court case is still pending.

The case.

Personally, I think it is spurious. What we did does not warrant prosecution. But then, I am one of the ‘perpetrators’, so maybe I am biased…

I think it is a punishment to us for having talked out, so publicly!

Sorry to say, but we seem to have a track record of using the law to stop dissent. A week ago, the Constitutional court unanimously struck down a law which was being used by police to stop opposition party rallies. According to the law, the police was supposed to sanction the rallies. For some strange reasons, the police never seemed to allow any opposition rallies.

So, the law was struck down, last week.

And this week, one of the opposition parties announces a rally, today.

And the police strenuously objects. Apparently, the supposed venue of the rally, a piece of empty ground, is under contention in the courts of law. Contention as in who owns the land.

So, the police have decided the opposition cannot hold the rally. And given their reason. And the opposition disagrees. And the police has poured out in the city center, to stop the rally.

Ask who the police is, and I will hit you on the head.

Suffice to say that it is not going to be easy to walk around town at this time.


Oh yes, and since I am still going on about what is happening at the conference, let me note that the first guy was detained, and released, with the heavy diplomatic presence around. The second one arrived when there were some of the diplomats were at the door, waiting for him. The third, well, the third, we were out of contact as he did not have a mobile, and he has been arrested on arrival at the hotel. Charge, I hear, is forgery. The accreditation card that the Conference organizers gave him has been declared a forgery by the police, so he is at Central Police Station at the moment!

Well, this tale has more turns than my pressure can sustain!


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