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Thursday, July 29, 2021

#Lawan: Cops detain activist overnight, raid home

 


Police have arrested activist Sarah Irdina Mohammad Ariff and will detain her overnight after questioning the 20-year-old for sedition, and improper use of network facilities.

This is over social media posts by youth-based group Misi Solidariti about the #Lawan movement.

Sarah’s lawyer Goh Cia Yee told Malaysiakini that officers from Bukit Aman’s Prosecution and Law Division (D5) arrested her this afternoon following a round of questioning at the Dang Wang district police station.

They also confiscated her mobile phone. 

"She will be remanded for the night at the Jinjang lockup,” he said.

Police later raided her house at about 6:15pm.

“Without a search warrant,” Goh added. 

Police are investigating Sarah under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Misi Solidariti describes itself as a “youth-led collective to empower society through the value of direct action in Malaysian activism”.

Aside from Sarah, police also questioned three others over this coming Saturday’s #Lawan protest. All three were represented by legal counsel. None were arrested.

They were investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code (making statements conducing to public mischief) as well as Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. 

Calls for Sarah's release

After news broke of Sarah’s arrest, several groups condemned the move and called for her release.

Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR), the organiser of the #Lawan movement, characterised it as an act of intimidation.

“This is part of a series of intimidations and threats against the rakyat so they do not come out for the #Lawan protest on July 31 at Dataran Merdeka.

“Our friend should not have been arrested because she cooperated with the police by presenting herself when summoned for questioning.

“SSR urges the police to release her immediately. Or else we will take even bigger action,” it cautioned.

Meanwhile, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) secretary-general Amir Abd Hadi said Sarah had been exercising her right to freedom of speech.

“Muda calls for Sarah to be released immediately.

“Muda urges all Malaysians to continue using our rights to speak up and exercise all forms of pressure until Sarah is released,” he said in a statement.

Also pledging their solidarity were Undi18, All Women’s Action Society (Awam), Amnesty International Malaysia as well as individuals on Twitter.

As of 8pm, the #FreeSarah hashtag had been mentioned in 3,407 tweets. - Mkini

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