Malaysia: Human rights defender arrested under the Sedition ActEvent
- Initial Date
- Sep 3, 2014
- Event Description
On 31 August 2014, 'Malaysiakini' magazine journalist and HRD Susan Loone interviewed Mr. Phee Boon Poh, chairperson of the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS), after he was arrested and detained for almost 24 hours. PPS, a group declared illegal by the police for not being registered with the Registrar of Societies, took part in the Merdeka Parade at the Esplanade on 31 August. The interview was published the following day in Bahasa, "Disoal siasat selama 4 jam, dakwa dilayan seperti 'penjenayah'" ('Questioned for four hours, treated like 'criminal') and was considered seditious publication. On 3 September 2014, Loone was contacted by one ASP Jamal to give her statement at 11.30 evening on the article she wrote online. On 4 September 2014, 3:00 in the afternoon she presented herself at the Northeast District Police District headquarters for questioning; and, was arrested thereafter under section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for publishing an article online which the police deemed seditious. OCPD Assistant Comm. Mior Faridalathrasha Wahid had confirmed the arrest. Loone was released on police bail at 11:45pm the same day after almost nine hours of interrogation. The police took her fingerprints and asked her to sign a document putting her under arrest. Her mobile phone was confiscated as part of the investigation. She was asked to report back to the police district headquarters on 3 October 2014. In recent weeks, there has been a surge in individuals who are being investigated under the Act and in the past years, the vague and broad provisions in the Act have been invoked to quell political dissent and critics of the government.
- Impact of Event
- Arbitrary arrest and detention
- Intimidation and threats
- Judicial harassment
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On the 4th September 2014, journalist and human rights activist Susan Loone was arrested under the Sedition Act for publishing an article about the arrest of Mr. Phee Boon Poh, chairperson of the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS). She was released on bail the same day but both she and the magazine she works for, 'Malaysiakini', are still facing investigation.