Suaram: Stop the intimidation and release Khairul Nizam immediately

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A candlelight vigil outside the Dang Wangi district police headquarters for Khairul Nizam after his first arrest on 28 December 2015 - Photograph: Seth Akmal/Malaysian Insider

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) strongly condemns the arrest of Khairul Nizam at his home in Kota Bahru on 8 January 2016.

Despite Khairul Nizam’s willingness to cooperate with the police in the past, he was first arrested at IPD Dang Wangi when he willingly submitted himself for questioning on 28 December 2015.

The fact that the magistrate’s court rejected the application for remand by the police makes it clear that it is unnecessary for Khairul Nizam to be subjected to any form of detention at this juncture.

Even so, barely two weeks after his arrest at IPD Dang Wangi, police who identified themselves as officers from IPD Kota Bahru arrested Khairul Nizam at his home in Kota Bahru in the morning of 8 January 2016.

Khairul Nizam was not informed of the reason for his arrests during his arrests, and the police have been slow in providing lawyers with the necessary information regarding his arrests and present whereabouts. Further, Khairul Nizam was immediately taken to IPD Johor Bahru after his arrests; this growing trend of local ‘extradition’ would undoubtedly bring hardship to those involved with his arrests.

The manner of his arrest and the failure to convey the reason for his arrest clearly contravenes recognised international human rights principles and is borderline illegal based on established procedures.

The series of arrests and prosecution of critics of the government should not be a norm in Malaysia and MUST not be the task of the police. On this note, Suaram demands that the police release Khairul Nizam immediately and cease its intimidation against civil activists.

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Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

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