SUARAM is shocked that Khalid Ismath was charged with 11 counts under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and 3 counts under the Sedition Act 1948 for a statement he made on social media. The 14 charges levelled against him is unacceptable and cannot be considered as anything but a gross abuse of power. In light of the flawed charge, there is no justification for the denial of bail for Khalid Ismath.
SUARAM reiterate our stance that the excessive remand of Khalid Ismath for post made on social media is on its own excessive and unnecessary in upholding law and order. The extraordinary amount of charges made against him under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Sedition Act 1948 is even more so excessive and unnecessary. This deplorable state of affair further condemns itself when the officers in question tried to coerce a confession by offering Khalid Ismath a chance to speak to his family if he confessed to the alleged crime.
When we consider the excessive detention of Khalid Ismath when he was first arrested, the absurd amount of charges level against him and the shocking behaviour of the police during questioning, it is difficult for anyone to consider the actions against Khalid Ismath as anything but malicious in nature. The clear intent to intimidate the public and possible dissenter is outrageous and should not be permitted in any democratic nation.
The criminal justice system should not and MUST not be a tool to stifle political dissent. The abuse of these laws against a political statement and the usage of Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 against political dissenter cannot and MUST not be an established practice of Malaysia.
On this note, SUARAM calls for the police and the public prosecutor to put an end to this farce and release Khalid Ismath or at the very least amend the charges levelled against Khalid Ismath to something more reasonable and proportionated to the alleged crime and allow him to be released on bail.