24 May 2013

Magistrate rejects remand request, Tian Chua, Tamrin, Haris released

By Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The police today released three men who were detained for a probe under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Penal Code after a magistrate rejected requests for further remand.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had earlier described the arrests as part of a national crackdown on the federal opposition.

Politicians Chua Tian Chang, Tamrin Ghafar, political activist Haris Ibrahim were arrested for sedition yesterday and held overnight at the police lockup in Jinjang, purportedly for a probe under section 4(1)© of the Sedition Act and section 124 of the Penal Code.

“We praise a very courageous magistrate. A brave magistrate has heard the legal arguments and decided that our detention is without basis,” said Chua after walking out of the lock-up with his lawyers, referring to magistrate Norashikin Sahat.

“That’s why we were released without condition,” said the PKR vice-president who was the last to walk out, with Tamrin and Haris walking out together earlier on.

Earlier today, a small group of supporters had staged a mini-protest outside the lockup, shouting slogans and holding up placards to demand the release of the trio.

Haris’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo yesterday said he was not yet informed of which “seditious statements” his clients or the two others were detained over.      

All three were believed to be detained over their involvement in a forum on May 13 over the results of the just-concluded general election.

Yesterday morning, student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim was charged with sedition for his involvement in the same forum where he was accused of rallying Malaysians to take to the streets to topple the BN government.

The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty and was released on RM5,000 bail with his trial set for a mention on July 2.

Despite the release of the three today, Chua claimed to have knowledge that more people would possibly be arrested.

“With the same arguments, we hope that the court will take firm action to defend not just the rights of individuals, but also the basic principles of the law,” said the Batu MP popularly known as Tian Chua.



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