Chinese Press: Natalie Lowrey denied access to clean water

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Last Updated: 6:44pm, Jun 25, 2014

PETALING JAYA (June 25): Australian activist Natalie Lowrey, detained here for her involvement in an anti-Lynas demonstration, has been denied access to basic necessities like clean water, bed, blanket and pillow in the lock-up. Citing Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chairperson Roger Chan Weng Keng and Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) chairman Tan Bun Teet, China Press said Natalie had to sleep on the floor for the past two nights. According to the exclusive report, the two managed to visit Natalie in the lock-up for 45 minutes. Quoting Chan, Natalie who endures hardships in the lock-up following the demonstration on Sunday, had hoped that the police could make a prompt decision on her fate and set her free as soon as possible. While revealing that Natalie had complaint of inadequate water supply in the lock-up, he said: “Despite looking tired, there was a smile on her face when she was talking to us.” Tan told the daily that the police kept her in the lock-up because they had yet to decide on evoking which act to charge her in court. According to him, Natalie was in fairly good condition and pretty good spirit; while she was allowed to change her clothes, she was not allowed to take other things from her visitors. “We (SMSL members) got to know Natalie three years ago when she and a group of green activists render us relentless support during our protest in Australia. She is our good friend. “As long as she’s in need. we will be at her back and we will keep visiting her and following up her case.” Tan expressed hope that Natalie could be released under the Immigration Act or be deported back to New Zealand as soon as possible. “Basically, Natalie (hopefully) will not be charged for creating chaos or joining illegal assembly,” he added. Natalie was among 16 activists arrested by the police for taking part in the demonstration outside the Lynas Corporations Advanced Material Plant (LAMP), which deals with rare earth, in Gebeng on the outskirts of Kuantan. An online petition has been launched to appeal to the Malaysian government for her release. More than 9,000 people have reportedly signed the petition. Himpunan Hijau may hold another rally Himpunan Hijau may hold another peaceful assembly to put further pressure on Lynas to shut down its rare earth plant that leaves behind thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste. Its chairman Wong Tack defined the next two months as a “critical period for LAMP’s closure” because Lynas’ two-year temporary operating license (TOL) would be expired in September. The local group would work hand-in-hand with international pressure groups to force Lynas out of Malaysia before the government issues the Australian mining company a permanent operating license, China Press quoted him as saying. “We would pressure for the closure of LAMP through economic and diplomatic means. On whether or not to hold another peaceful assembly, it depends on ongoing situation.” He said Greenpeace Southeast Asia might also launch its campaign against Lynas in near future.

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