The human rights group said there was nothing to be proud off in regards to police’s action yesterday.
R Thevarajan, of Suaram's Police, Accountability and Reform desk, claimed that police do not understand the real issue behind the proposed peaceful protest.
He claimed, in a statement today, that the workers had no choice but to show their displeasure by organising a peaceful demonstration.
What is strange, he added, is that the workers were arrested even before the actual protest took place.
“What is their offence and what is the charge against them?” he asked in the statement.
“Why should the foreign workers be arrested and why are the employers, who failed to abide by this (minimum wage) requirement, not brought to justice?”
He went on to call for the Human Resources Ministry to respond to yesterday’s detention.
Thevarajan said the authorities should respect Article 10 of the federal constitution over the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and urged those picked-up by police to be released.
Police, he said, should understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting workers, regardless if they are locals or foreigners, as their rights are being exploited by the employers.
Earlier, Bernama reported that Muar police had foiled an attempt by 5,000 foreign workers from Nepal to hold a demonstration at the town centre at noon, yesterday.
They had wished to protest against their employers for allegedly failing to pay salaries according to the minimum salary scheme as decided by the government.
It was reported that based on a tip off, police moved in to prevent the group from gathering in front of a supermarket in Jalan Ali, Muar.
Muar police chief ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli had said 106 people, including the alleged masterminds, were detained for further investigations until 1pm, after which they were released.
Last week, Muar police arrested 32 Nepalese workers for creating a riot at a furniture factory as they were unhappy that their salaries had not been paid according to the minimum salary scheme.- Bernama - Malaysiakini, 18/3/2013, Suaram questions inaction against errant employers