47 orang asli to be released, but more may have been detained

(Sumber dari Thestar )

PETALING JAYA: The 47 Temiar orang asli (indigenous peoples) detained at the Simpang Petir blockade area on Tuesday will be released today, said lawyer and activist Siti Kasim (pic).

“All 47 of them will be released today. We are still discussing the legal matters before their release,” she told The Star Online.

However, Siti said that 20 to 30 police and state forestry vehicles raided the Pos Pasik blockade on Thursday morning.

“I am not sure how many orang asli were hauled up during the raid,” said Siti, who is not allowed into the blockade area.

On Tuesday, police and state forestry officers moved into the blockade area in Simpang Petir that was set up by the orang asli to protest logging activities.

The officers demolished the Simpang Petir blockade as well as the huts used by the protesters for shelter, and seized blowpipes and machetes from at least 200 orang asli.

There are two other blockades at Pos Pasik and Pos Bihai.

The three blockades were erected and managed by the orang asli about two months ago to protest logging activities in the Balah forest reserve.

The Kelantan Forestry Department insisted the orang asli dismantle their blockade or face the consequences.

The Kelantan government said it views the blockades as illegal, and said the orang asli’s activities were hampering development in the state.

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