On 27 March 2017, Suaram was notified that Siti Noor Aishah, a research student at University Malaya who had previously been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) for possession of 12 ‘illegal’ books, had been re-arrested.
After her release on 29 September 2016, she was re-arrested under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca). After her 60 days detention under Poca, Siti Noor Aishah has been sentenced to house arrest with an electronic monitoring device attached to her.
Despite the repeated failure by the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers in establishing a case against Siti Noor Aishah, the attorney general’s chambers appealed the High Court’s decision to discharge Siti Noor Aishah. Following her hearing at the Court of Appeal on 27 March 2017, Siti was re-arrested and returned to detention under Sosma pending the continuation of her trial at the High Court.
Suaram strongly condemn the use of laws such as Sosma that provide detention without trial. To date, Siti’s detention remains one of the most deplorable uses of Sosma and Poca. With no clear evidence against her, the repeated attempt to deprive Siti of her freedom through unscrupulous means can only be described as abuse of power and a gross human rights violations.
The fact that Siti Noor Aishah is already sentenced to house arrest with an electronic monitoring device under Poca and the finding by the High Court judge stands in her favour. It is abundantly clear that there is no need for her to continue her detention under Sosma while her case proceeds to full trial.
On this note, Suaram calls on the Attorney General’s Chambers to rescind its stance on the matter and allow Siti to be released from Sosma detention.
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.