People who were arrested on provisional charges and subsequently cleared expressed themselves at an official book signing by Touria Prayag at The Irish on Saturday. Touria Prayag, chief editor of Weekly, recently launched the second updated edition her book Provisional Charges. The book signing attracted a large crowd of people who are interested in human rights, democracy and freedom of expression.
Among the people who shared their experiences at the book signing were former president Cassam Uteem, who spoke about his decision to resign from his post rather than signing a harsh anti-terrorism legislation that he felt violated people’s civil liberties.. Ish Sookun, the bright young IT professional whose horror story is described in Provisional Charges, and the other victims of the system thanked Touria Prayag for giving a voice to people who would not have been able to make themselves heard as efficiently otherwise.
Adeela and Laina Rawat, who were both arrested on provisional charges and subsequently cleared completely, thanked the author for having the courage to question a system that is causing a lot of unnecessary suffering to people in this country. Manou Bheenick, ex-governor of the Bank of Mauritius, lawyer Yosuf Mohamed and former UN judge Vinod Boolell were also among the professionals who expressed their support for the author and for the battle for a more humane legal system. Hassenjee Ruhomally, who was arrested on a provisional charge for merely having shared a post on Facebook, said that Prayag’s book is likely to result in a greater public understanding of how unfair the provisional charges system is.
Touria Prayag thanked the victims for having agreed to share their stories. Their candidness is an important contribution to the battle for a fairer legal system with less unwarranted suffering, she believes. A copy of the new edition of the book Provisional Charges signed by the victims will be handed over to the Bar Council.