6 NOVEMBER 2012
URGENT APPEAL: RELEASE AHMAD ABDUL JALIL IMMEDIATELY
SUARAM refers to one Ahmad Abdul Jalil, 27, was arrested on 2nd November 2012 for allegedly posted a defamatory statement on Sultan of Johor. He has been remanded for 3 days at Johor Bahru and on 5th November 2012, the police’s application to extend the remand period was rejected by the Johor Bahru Magistrate who has stated that the act of transferring Ahmad from Kuala Lumpur to Johor was unreasonable and there were no statements taken from Ahmad while he was remanded for the past 3 days.
Ahmad’s family members were not allowed to see him since 2nd November 2012. Officer in charge of the investigation ACP Azizan explained to the family that this is the standard operating procedure of the police. It is basic knowledge that Section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code states that an arrested person shall be given the opportunity to communicate with his family members and to inform on his whereabouts. The reason of claiming standard operating procedure reflects the ignorance and arrogance of ACP Azizan, the designated officer for Ahmad’s case.
Ahmad is currently being investigated under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, believed to be for having made seditious remarks against the Sultan of Johor on his Facebook page. Section 4(1) stipulates that any person who utters prints or publishes any seditious words, on conviction, would be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding RM5, 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
On 5th November 2012, upon the rejection of the police’s remand application, Ahmad was REARRESTED by plainclothes policemen outside the court room for alleged offences under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. Ahmad’s father was told that Ahmad was rearrested because the family has engaged with lawyers. SUARAM is appalled at the actions of the police which goes against basic fundamental rights enshrined under S5(3) of the Federal Constitution which allows an arrested person to communicate with a lawyer of his choice. A family member who declined to be known stated that the police acting under pressure and instructions from the top.
The bad practice of re-arresting an individual for different offenses upon the failure of an initial charge shows the motive-based prosecution method applied by the police. An arrested person shall not be bullied in such a way and that his/her rights must not be denied simply for the fact that the highest law in the country guarantees them.
SUARAM hereby demands that Ahmad Abdul Jalil be released immediately.
What can you do?
Urgent action needed:
Please write protest letters to the government and the police to express your strongest condemnation of the arrests of Ahmad Abdul Jalil which denies his right to speech and the right to be represented by lawyer.
[Letterhead of your organisation]
Re: Release Ahmad Abdul Jalil Now!
We are writing to you, once again, to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over the arrest of Ahmad Abdul Jalil for a post in Facebook deemed seditious by the government.
We are appalled by the Malaysian government and the police’s latest actions and view this as yet another attempt to intimidate Malaysian citizens from practicing freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Denying his right for a counsel is also an outrageous act against the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. We demand the government to release Ahmad Abdul Jalil immediately.
We strongly urge you, once again, to stop bringing shame to Malaysia, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. We would like to remind that freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.
1. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister’s Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel: 603-8888 8000 Fax: 603-8888 3444
E-Mail: [email protected]
2. Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein
Minister of Home Affairs Malaysia
Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D
Tel: 03 8886 8000/ 3000
3. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam,
Malaysian Human Rights Commission,
Level 11, Menara TH Perdana,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 26125600 Fax: 03 26125620
4. Mr. Frank La Rue
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
5. Ms. Margaret Sekaggya,
Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders,
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)