ImageMauritian activist Alain Bertrand, Head of Communication of Pressure Group Azir Moris (Act Mauritius) protesting against coal, has been unlawfully arrested at 18:00 on the 12th of March, at the Mauritius 45th Independence Day celebrations at Anjalay stadium. His whereabouts got only to be known at around 22:00. He was denied bail and forced into police custody for three days, under false charges of “Ridiculising the National Flag”. Counsels Ramano and Rutnah pressured Court to obtain that bail be granted to him on 15th of March 2013.  

Police in civilian gear grabbed Alain BERTRAND, amidst a 10000 people crowd, without declining identity, as he and other activists were about to peacefully deploy a 15m banner saying “No to Coal” as a follow up to our numerous protests including a crane and bridge protest. The choice of the date and location was linked to the opportunity of connecting the NO TO COAL message to more than 20,000 spectators, The President of India, Shree Mukerjee, the Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam and other high profile local officials, at one GO!

Alain BERTRAND has, beyond the ordeal, vowed to pursue relentlessly with Azir Moris’ fight against coal in Mauritius and has called for mobiliziation against the deliberate gagging of the Mauritian people and Press over the Coal issue. He intends to sue the government.The arrest has been commented throughout the press and the Internet and has been firmly condemned by a wide range of citizens and officials.

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