With Sosma abuse, it’s time for repeal, says lawyer

Source: FMT News

FMT News file pic

Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) — FMT News file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: A security law passed in 2012 must be abolished as the government has abused it to silence critics, a Bar Council member said.

Ravi Nekoo said this law has been used against three persons, the latest being Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah on grounds her act was “detrimental to parliamentary democracy”.

“Prime Minister Najib Razak did not keep to his promise when the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or Sosma was introduced,” he told a forum themed, Sosma: The new ISA?

He said this was similar to the introduction of the now repealed Internal Security Act in 1960 to counter the communist insurgency.

Ravi, the Bar Council’s National Legal Aid Bureau chairperson, said the ISA was later used against government dissidents and others, including NGO members and journalists.

He said Najib had assured that Sosma, a procedural law, would be used to check extremism and terrorism in the country and which originated outside Malaysia.

“Section 4(3) of Sosma details out that no person will be arrested and detained solely for his political belief or political activity. But is this the case?” he asked. Read more

NGO slams Putrajaya’s ‘empty’ Sosma assurances

Source: FMT News

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

KUALA LUMPUR: Assurances by the government on the proper use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma, are empty promises, said EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam.

“We fear the raid on our office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders,” she added in a statement.

EMPOWER stands for Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor.

Sosma was supposed to be used for terrorist-related offences.

The NGO condemned the police raid on its premises, “and the interrogation of staff, without legal representation”, and “the attempts to tarnish its work”.

“There’s no law that forbids civil society organisations from receiving funds, whether local or foreign,” said Janarthani. “All funds received are based on objectives and activities under our Constitution.”

In fact, she said, her NGO had submitted annually all documents required by the Registrar of Societies, in reporting on yearly activities. “This includes audited financial reports.”

Janarthani said that EMPOWER’s efforts were out there for the world to see. “We are about securing equality and democracy for all, especially for women and marginalised communities.” Read more

Suhakam confirms Maria kept isolated, without bed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam has confirmed that Maria Chin Abdullah is being held in solitary confinement and is denied a bed. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Suhakam has confirmed that Maria Chin Abdullah is being held in solitary confinement and is denied a bed. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah is being held in solitary confinement and denied a bed as she previously alleged, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) confirmed today.

Suhakam said it verified this during a visit to the undisclosed location where Maria is being detained for 28 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.

The commission added that while Maria appeared to be in good health and the cleanliness of her cell was acceptable, the conditions were as she had described to her lawyers on Sunday.

“The so-called bed has no mattress and she has to wash with cold water. She indicated that she would like a mattress at the very least to cushion the discomfort of the wooden bed.

“Maria Chin Abdullah has also requested for a copy of the Quran and reading materials, as well as to be able to see her children and family,” it said in a statement.

Suhakam did not comment on other aspects of Maria’s allegations such as the cell being windowless or that two lights were kept permanently lit.

The commission said its delegation to inspect Maria’s cell and conditions was led by chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail. Read more

Hundreds of women march to Parliament demanding Maria’s release

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hundreds of women walk from Padang Merbok to Parliament to demand Maria Chin Abdullah's release, November 23, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Hundreds of women walk from Padang Merbok to Parliament to demand Maria Chin Abdullah’s release, November 23, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― More than 500 women marched to Parliament today demanding the immediate release of Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah from her Security Offences (Special Measures) detention.

The women, led by individuals from various civil society organisations marched from Padang Merbok to the Parliament gates, while also calling for Sosma to be abolished.

Maria, 60, has spent the last five days in solitary confinement after she was arrested on November 18, on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally.

43 female activists signed a memorandum with the group’s demands, which includes the return of items confiscated from Bersih’s office by police during a raid on November 18.

MORE TO COME

Almost 40,000 sign online petition demanding Maria’s release

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maria Chin Abdullah's family submitted a habeas corpus application to the High Court here asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Maria Chin Abdullah’s family submitted a habeas corpus application to the High Court here asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― An online petition condemning the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 against Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and demanding her immediate release is steadily gaining traction, getting over 37,000 signatures since it kicked off on Monday.

The “#MansuhSOSMA and #BebasMaria” petition on ipetitions.com has secured 37,804 signatures so far, under 3,000 signatures shy of its intended 40,000 target.

“When tabling the bill in Parliament in 2011, the government assured and promised Malaysians repeatedly that Sosma will not be used on the basis of differences in political ideology, but it is evident today that the administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is reneging on its promise.

“In our view, this is a clear abuse of legislative and executive powers,” the petition read.

It has since been shared on Facebook 7,200 times. Read more

Salah guna Sosma, bebas Maria segera — A Samad Said

Source: The Malay Mail Online

20 NOVEMBER — Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy mengecam tindakan polis menahan pengerusi Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) Maria Chin Abdullah dengan menyalahgunakan Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012 atau Sosma.

Penahanan ini bercanggah dengan matlamat asal penggubalan akta tersebut iaitu untuk membendung aktiviti teroris. Tindakan polis telah menghina akta yang diluluskan oleh parlimen dan merosakkan kedaulatan undang-undang negara.

Kami menggesa menteri dalam negeri menghormati hak demokrasi rakyat, membebaskan Maria Chin Abdullah dengan segera dan menghentikan penindasan terhadap aktivis pro-demokrasi yang memperjuangkan pilihan raya yang bersih dan adil. Read more