Suhakam presses Putrajaya to explain pre-rally dragnet

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Authorities had no reason to detain over a dozen activists and political leaders before and after the Bersih 5 yesterday, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said today.

In a statement commending Malaysians for exercising their right to assemble, the commission also pointed out that the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur as well as associated events nationwide proceeded peacefully despite police action.

“Suhakam cannot find justification in the arrests of several key assembly organisers,” it said in a statement. Read more

Maria’s arrest rouses storm of criticism

Source: FMT News

Opposition politicians and Aliran take authorities to task for using anti-terrorism law against Bersih leader.

maria-chin_law_6001_1

A storm of criticism rose today over the arrest of Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah under an anti-terrorism law, with politicians and activists calling for Maria’s immediate release as well as others detained after the Bersih 5 rally yesterday. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A storm of criticism rose today over the arrest of Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah under an anti-terrorism law, with politicians and activists calling for Maria’s immediate release as well as others detained after the Bersih 5 rally yesterday.

In separate statements, PAS, the DAP, the Aliran reform group, and an MP all accused the government of misusing the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, under which Maria was detained. Read more

Lawyer: Maria Chin to be held for 28 days under Sosma

Source: The Malay Mail Online

free-mariachinabdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Lawyer Eric Paulsen confirmed today that Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah will be detained for 28 more days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma, in addition to the initial 24 hours since Friday afternoon.

Despite that, Paulsen said Maria — who had been denied contact with her lawyers and family until today — was in good cheer.

“So far she’s only been there for a couple of days, so she is still in high spirits,” Paulsen told Malay Mail Online, referring to Maria’s stay at the undisclosed detention centre.

“She was happy that Bersih was a success, and told everyone to carry on with the reform agenda. She vows to challenge her detention.”

Besides Paulsen, lawyers Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and R. Sivarasa were also present during the meeting at the Dang Wangi police station around 1pm today.

Under Sosma, the police may detain Maria for 28 days and withhold legal representation for two days. Read more

Activists, opposition leaders remanded for two days

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Picture shows the post-Bersih 5 rally press conference held at Hotel Midah, Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Picture shows the post-Bersih 5 rally press conference held at Hotel Midah, Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 ― Several of the activists and opposition leaders arrested yesterday before and after the Bersih 5 rally will be held for another two days.

Lawyer Melissa Sasidaran said a magistrate granted the remand order for graphics artist Fahmi Reza, activist Hishamuddin Rais, PKR MPs Chua Tian Chang and Zuraida Kamaruddin, DAP’s Pasir Pinji assemblyman Howard Lee, and student activist Mohd Luqman Nul Hakim Zul Razali after a two-hour hearing today.

“The magistrate allows remand of two days, starting today and tomorrow,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted. All those remanded were arrested under Section 147/511 of the Penal Code, she said. Section 147 of the Penal Code pertains to rioting while Section 511 provides punishment for attempting to commit said offence.

Lawyers for Liberty earlier tweeted that others arrested before Bersih 5 — Mandeep Singh, Safwan Anang, Parti Sosialis Malaysia politician S. Arutchelvan and Universiti Malaya student Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof — will be released at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this afternoon. Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah remains detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, while “Red Shirts” leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos is remanded until Tuesday. Read more

Bersih 2.0 worried as Maria unreachable after Sosma arrest

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — A concerned Bersih 2.0 today said lawyers have had no contact with its chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah, since she was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma, before the Bersih 5 rally.

The group also announced that deputy chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari has been appointed acting chairman in Maria’s absence.

Bersih lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikr (pic) says Maria Chin Abdullah is still uncontactable. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Bersih lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikr (pic) says Maria Chin Abdullah is still uncontactable. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

“Up to now, the lawyers haven’t managed to meet with Maria. So we’re very concerned as to what is happening in detention,”  lawyer and steering committee member Fadiah Nadwa Fikri told a press conference today.

“We know under this particular Act, Sosma, there is a lot of secrecy surrounding detention. The law gives so much power to the police to decide what to do with the person detained under this Act.

“Under Sosma, the police can detain Maria for 28 days and withhold legal representation for two days.

According to Fadiah, Maria’s lawyers are not even aware of her current whereabouts.

Fadiah also said she was concerned that the law could be use to punish the Bersih 2.0 chief, and reiterated the group’s commitment to secure her release.

“This law departs radically from the basic rules of evidence, which means you can easily be convicted … If you go to court, you will not get a fair hearing,” Fadiah said, adding that Maria may face up to 15 years’ jail if found guilty.

The group will kick off its campaign for Maria’s release and to abolish the Act with a candlelight vigil outside the Jinjang police detention centre at 8pm tonight. 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

Ambiga ikrar guna semua cara bebaskan Maria

Source: FMT News

Writ of habeas corpus to be filed to secure release of Bersih chief from arrest under anti-terrorism law. Pic taken from FMT News.

Writ of habeas corpus to be filed to secure release of Bersih chief from arrest under anti-terrorism law. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Satu permohonan habeas corpus akan difailkan untuk membebaskan Pengerusi Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin Abdullah yang ditahan di bawah Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-langkah Khas) 2012 atau Sosma.

Pengkritik kerajaan berkata, penggunaan Sosma tidak wajar kerana undang-undang itu sepatutnya digunakan untuk menentang keganasan.

Bekas Pengerusi Bersih 2.0, Ambiga Sreenevasan berkata, penahanan Maria di bawah Sosma tidak boleh diterima.

Bercakap di hadapan peserta perhimpunan Bersih 5 di luar Pusat Beli-belah KLCC petang semalam, beliau berkata, writ habeas corpus akan difailkan.

“Kami akan melakukan semua yang boleh dalam kuasa kita untuk memastikan beliau keluar tidak lama lagi,” katanya yang dipetik Malaysiakini.

Maria dan urus setia Bersih, Mandeep Singh ditahan petang Jumaat lalu dalam serbuan ke atas pejabat Bersih di Petaling Jaya.

Maria disiasat di bawah Seksyen 124C Kanun Keseksaan kerana aktiviti yang memudaratkan demokrasi berparlimen, manakala Mandeep disiasat di bawah Seksyen 147 kerana merusuh dan 511 terhadap tindakan-tindakan yang boleh dihukum dengan penjara.

Secara keseluruhan, 10 komputer riba (termasuk pengecas), pemacu pen, cakera keras, fail gaji, penyata bank dan dokumen berkaitan dengan Yayasan 18 Mei dirampas.

Bersih disiasat di bawah Kanun Keseksaan berhubung “aktiviti menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen” selepas laporan media mengenai kebocoran dokumen Amerika Syarikat menyatakan gabungan untuk reformasi pilihan raya itu menerima dana Open Society Foundation (OSF) dikaitkan dengan jutawan, George Soros. Read more