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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Activist Sarajun Hoda freed hours after arrest

Member of civil rights NGO Aliran initially denied access to lawyers, but human rights lawyer Siti Kasim says cops relented after she reminded them of his rights.
sarajun-releasedPETALING JAYA: Social activist Sarajun Hoda was freed by police early this morning, a few hours after being detained and taken to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters (IPD) last night.
This was a surprise turn of events following his arrest at his house at 7.15pm.
Human rights NGO Suaram’s executive director Sevan Doraisamy told FMT last night that Sarajun had been arrested and taken to Dang Wangi IPD, and would probably be held until Tuesday morning for remand.
However, he was released just past midnight, with his Facebook page featuring a posting of him outside the police station with friends and supporters. The timestamp read 12.22am. There was no reason given as to why he was released.
Many social activists, NGOs and opposition politicians were seen outside the police station, based on photos posted on his Facebook page. Among them were human rights lawyers Siti Kasim and Ambiga Sreenevasan, as well as DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago.
Siti Kasim had earlier posted on Facebook that she was at Dang Wangi IPD and that Sarajun had been “detained under Section 298 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act”.
“At first police refused to allow any lawyer to see him but when reminded that any person arrested has the right to see a lawyer under S28(a) CPC, they relented,” she said.
Sarajun had sent a message to Sevan at 7.15pm to tell him that police were at his home.
“Police in my house now. ASP Khairol arresting me now. Sec 298 Penal Code and 233 Multimedia Act. They are taking me to IPD Dang Wangi. Please tweet,” he said.
Sarajun, a member of civil rights NGO Aliran, is also a former executive council member of the organisation.
That message was posted on Sarajun’s Facebook wall by activist Thomas Fann, who is with the Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED).
Section 298 of the Penal Code makes it illegal to utter words that could hurt the religious feelings of another person, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act states it is an offence to use network services to transmit any communication that is deemed offensive.
If convicted under Section 298, Sarajun faces imprisonment for a maximum period of a year, or fine, or both.
If found guilty under Section 233, a person could be fined up to RM50,000 or be given a maximum jail term of one year, or both. -FMT

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