Malaysia: Former Student Activist Detained under Sedition Act for Posting Critical TweetsEvent
- Initial Date
- Oct 7, 2015
- Event Description
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) held a candlelight vigil last night for its member and former student activist Khalid Ismath near the Johor Baru Selatan police station where he is being detained for posting critical tweets related to the arrest of a 1MDB critic. Khalid is being remanded until tomorrow under the Sedition Act for a tweet allegedly criticising the detention of Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang under an anti-terrorism law that allows detention for 28 consecutive days without being brought to court. Both men had been critical of controversial state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), with Khairuddin lodging reports in several countries against the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. "Khalid was first detained on October 7 for two days, but was immediately re-arrested upon his release on October 9," Eira Nadzirah, Khalid's wife said at the vigil last night. Khalid Ismath's wife, Eira Nadzirah. Eira says she was not informed of the reason for Khalid's re-arrest. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 12, 2015.Khalid Ismath's wife, Eira Nadzirah. Eira says she was not informed of the reason for Khalid's re-arrest. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 12, 2015."I was with him then and the investigating officer didn't even inform us the reason for his re-detention. "It was the new IO, an Inspector Hoo, who informed me that he was being detained under the Sedition Act." Khalid has been in remand since his re-arrest on Friday and is due to be released tomorrow. UPDATE: 29/ 10/ 2015 Court allows activist Khalid interim bail but with conditions Activist Khalid Mohd Ismath, who is charged with making inflammatory postings against he Johor royalty, has been given an interim bail by the High Court. Lawyer Roger Chan Weng Keng said the bail, however, came with several conditions. He said Khalid has to post RM5,000 for each of the 14 charges he faced, surrender his travel documents and report to the police as instructed by the court. "The court will convene again on November 11 whether to revoke or vary the bail," he said. Chan said friends and family members were in the midst of raising the money so that he could be freed today. Chan said deputy public prosecutor Rahimah Abdul Majib applied for postponement on the grounds that her superior, Saiful Edris Zainuddin, who previously handled the matter was in Putrajaya today. He said he objected to the application as the liberty of his client was at stake. "The freedom of a person is fundamental and all other factors were secondary," he submitted before judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak. Chan said Khalid would continue to languish in jail as it would be unsure when this court would reconvene. On October 13, Khalid was charged in the Johor Baru Sessions Court with three counts of sedition against the Johor royals and another 11 counts under the Communications and Multimedia Act. The 25-year-old Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) member claimed trial to the charges. However, Saiful applied to the court that Khalid be denied bail as he could abscond. Edris cited the case of blogger Ali Abd Jalil who escaped from the country last year. Ali had been charged with three counts of sedition for criticising the monarchy on Facebook. He was released on bail but eventually fled to Sweden to seek asylum after claiming he had received death threats. Judge Mohamad Hadlar Abdul Aziz agreed with Edris's submission and fixed case management on November 11. - October 29, 2015. UPDATE: 11 November 2015 High Court maintains activist's bail amount at RM70,000 The Johor Baru High Court today maintained the bail amount for activist Khalid Mohd Ismath at RM70,000 for the 14 charges he was slapped with, including for making inflammatory postings against the Johor royalty. Judge Sofian Abdul Razak in making this decision, also ordered Khalid to report to the police once every two weeks until the conclusion of the trial at the Sessions court. The date for the trial, however, has yet to be set. The other bail conditions, including surrendering his passport and other travel documents to the court, remains. In an immediate response, lawyer Roger Chan Weng Keng, said the bail was high and tantamount to punishing the accused. Khalid, however, remains free as he had posted bail. On October 13, Khalid was charged in the Johor Baru Sessions Court with three counts of sedition against the Johor royals and another 11 counts under the Communications and Multimedia Act. The 25-year-old Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) member claimed trial and was granted interim bail of RM5,000 for each charge. It was reported that Khalid's bail money came from the "Freedom Fund" set up earlier this year to assist those penalised for exercising the freedom of speech and assembly. PSM leaders S. Arutchelvan had said RM60,000 came from the fund while another RM10,000 was donated by party members. - November 11, 2015.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Rights Concerned
- Right to information
- Right to political participation
- Pro-democracy activist
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
07 October 2015, Mr.Khalid Ismath, a former student activist was arrested and detained under the Sedition Act for for posting critical tweets related to the arrest of 1MDB critics Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang under an anti-terrorism law that allows detention for 28 consecutive days without being brought to court.