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Police raid on "Black Metal": another folly of profiling?


Media Statement
by Ronnie Liu

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): I was alerted by a friend through an SMS on 1 January 2006 (around 3am) that a group of several hundred music lovers and musicians were detained at a place called Paul's Place by the police for reason unknown to them.

Several local dailies published the incident the next day, quoted the statement made by the Brickfields OCPD that those who were detained in the raid (about 380) were followers of "black Metal" music, and that the concert was believed to be a replacement of the much publicized sex party in Pulau Langkawi.

The so-called "Black Metal" gangs turned out to be musicians from a mixture of different music and some of them came from Singapore and Japan. They were there together with their fans for a clean fun and certainly not worshipers of free sex, devils and drugs as claimed by some of the members of the police and media..

After listening to the explanations given by Paul and other organizers of the music community, I am convinced that the police have conducted the raid based on wrong information or simply just another "folly of profiling" on their part. To them, teenagers wearing black T-shirts in groups are followers of an unhealthy sub-culture music community called the "Black Metal".

All except four were released at around 5 am after undergoing their urine test at the Brickfields police station. The police found no drugs or weapons during the entire operation. The remaining four (a sound engineer and three other teenagers) were released yesterday after our intervention. We are now trying to get the police to return the sound equipments taken from the premises. Further delay would only mean injustice and certainly cause more unhappiness among the victimized music groups and their fans.

The music community concerned are now seriously thinking of presenting a memorandum to Bukit Aman to explain their case and certainly wanted the police to stop profiling/labeling them as "Black Metal" and stop all police harassment in future. We will continue to offer our help and assistance to the music community in our own ways.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP NGO bureau chief

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