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Monday, September 29, 2014

Young activist released after over 20 days in police custody

Ali had spent more than 20 days in police custody after being arrested. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 29, 2014.Ali had spent more than 20 days in police custody after being arrested. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 29, 2014.Activist Ali Abd Jalil tasted freedom for the first time in more than three weeks today after being released from police custody without being re-arrested.
His lawyer New Sin Yew told The Malaysian Insider that Ali was released from the Nusajaya police headquarters at 3.35pm.
It had been a harrowing time for Ali, who is being investigated by police for allegedly posting seditious material on social media.
Ali faces three sedition charges for allegedly insulting the Johor royalty and the Sultan of Selangor in his Facebook postings.
He has been accused of posting seditious remarks on a Facebook page called "Kapitalis Bangsat" that allegedly belittled the Johor sultanate.
Ali was first detained on September 8 and has since been in police custody in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor.
New had previously told The Malaysian Insider that his client was being taken on "a sedition roadshow" in an attempt to mentally and psychologically torture Ali.
"The roadshow is pointless as all the investigations can be done centrally in Kuala Lumpur," New said.
On September 23, Ali was released after posting bail of RM8,000 at the Shah Alam court complex.
However, his freedom was shortlived as he was re-arrested and taken to Johor, reportedly because other police reports had been lodged against him there.
On Friday, Ali was released by police in Johor and then re-arrested again by Nusajaya police, reportedly to facilitate investigations.
New said Ali had spent more time in police custody than a murder suspect, who can be held up to 14 days before police had to release or prosecute him.
Ali has also claimed that he was assaulted by a policemen on the first night of his detention on September 8, and his brother had lodged a police report.
Yesterday, a group of young activists banded together in a show of solidarity for Ali.
The Solidarity for Ali campaign was held in Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Malacca with the group in the capital holding placards and performing a flashmob near the Masjed Jamek LRT station and the Sogo shopping complex, in Kuala Lumpur.
In full view of Sunday shoppers, about 20 youths sang a Malay song called “Buruh Tani” with lyrics that urged students to “wake up to the demand for change”. The event lasted for 10 minutes.
Police personnel were seen observing the flashmob and some of them took photos and video recordings of the event.
One of the demonstrators was Safwan Anang, who was recently given a 10-month jail sentence for making seditious remarks at a May 13 forum in Kuala Lumpur last year.
Safwan, who is out pending an appeal on his conviction, had said the peaceful demonstration was important to let Ali know that he had support despite being in prison, and to educate the public on why the Sedition Act should be repealed.
Ali has been adopted by Amnesty International as a “Prisoner of Conscience”.
- TMI

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