Police Raid Feminist Group EMPOWER's Office Under SOSMA

Maria Chin Abdullah is the founder of women's rights group, EMPOWER.

Cover image via Malaysiakini/ Zulaikha Zulkifli

The police raided the office of Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) at about 1.30pm today, 28 November in Petaling Jaya

EMPOWER's lawyer, Honey Tan

Image via Malaysiakini/ Zulaikha Zulkifli

According to Malaysiakini, the women's group's lawyer, Honey Tan said that the police informed them that the organisation is being investigated under Section 124C of the Penan Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy and also under the ironclad Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

"There are several Empower staff currently in the office and we (lawyers) are not allowed to enter. The police have been there for about an hour," explained Tan, as reported by Malaysiakini.

EMPOWER is an NGO that promotes and support actions that fight for democracy and justice based on feminist and human rights principles. The group was first started as a group of activists who were working with youths and women that were affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in the northern peninsular of Malaysia.

Eventually, they started focusing on helping women and youths understand their potential, role and impact in political participation and civil liberties.

"Our current focus is on developing women leaders with a commitment to the principles of equality and non-discrimination, particularly among young women, indigenous women, and women in low-income communities," said EMPOWER.

EMPOWER was founded by Maria Chin Abdullah, who is the current leader of Bersih and is detained under SOSMA since 18 November. It was also reported that Bersih used to be based at EMPOWER's office in Petaling Jaya before moving to their current space in 2015.

This is a developing story. Watch this space for more updates.

EMPOWER founder and current Bersih chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah is being held under SOSMA now:

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