Bersih 2.0 condemns Maria Chin Abdullah’s detention under Sosma

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Instead of leading the Bersih 5 rally on 19 November, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or Sosma where she can be held for up to 28 days without trial.

Bersih 2.0 is shocked and outraged that the authorities have gone to such extreme lengths to silence their critics. The use of Sosma, which is intended as a terrorism counter-measure, against a civil society leader who peacefully champions institutional reforms and the crackdown on 16 activists and politicians (and counting) are a horrific abuse of power.

This complete disregard for the rule of law is a serious threat to democracy and human rights.

Maria is being held in solitary confinement in a 15 x 8 feet cell that has no windows and no bed, with only a hard slab of wood on a cement floor. Two light bulbs are kept on for 24 hours. She was held for two days before family and lawyers were even allowed to see her. Her location is unknown. This inhumane treatment can only be described as torture and is completely unjustifiable.

Sixteen others have also been arrested in a crackdown that began on Friday. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said there were more on the list.

Red shirt leader Jamal Yunos was also picked up and was given a mere four-day remand, which shows the authorities’ continued bias. Jamal has, from the very beginning, incited violence and hatred, even going so far as to threaten another May 13 incident. Yet the authorities continue to let him off easy, showing that they have abdicated their duty to ensure law and order.

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Bersih 2.0 demands the immediate release of Maria Chin Abdullah. Her detention under Sosma is unlawful and a serious breach of human rights. We also call for the repeal of such an oppressive law that is so easily open to abuse.

Maria’s family today filed a police report at 11.30am at Petaling Jaya district police headquarters against her detention and abusive treatment under Sosma. Her lawyers will file a writ of habeas corpus tomorrow for Maria to appear in court and ask for a valid reason for her detention. We will exhaust all legal avenues to secure Maria’s release.

Civil society groups and supporting groups will kickstart the #BebasMaria #MansuhSOSMA campaign today which will include a daily candlelight vigil, international lobbying, forums and sending of memorandums. We will not stop until Maria is free and Sosma is repealed.

As part of our campaign, Bersih 2.0 calls on all Malaysians to join us in solidarity at 8pm every night at Dataran Merdeka until Maria is released. We need to send a strong collective message that Maria’s detention and inhumane treatment is an egregious breach of human rights and will not be accepted in a free and democratic society.

#BebasMaria #MansuhSOSMA

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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Hakimi Abdul Jabar
23 Nov 2016 8.35pm

Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih & the expressions of opinions and pursuit of courses of actions directed towards the Federal Government etc. Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih & the expressions of opinions and pursuit of courses of actions directed towards the Federal Government etc. in the form of organizing the Bersih 5 Rally which was mainly to pressure for greater accountability and actions be taken against Malaysian Official 1 following the law suit by US Department of Justice (DoJ) against state investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad and making a strong stand against what Maria Chin Abdullah deems as a “grand corruption and betrayal of trust” are merely engagements in lawful activities of political beliefs and/or political activities : http://www.thesundaily.my/node/385089 PART II of SOSMA SPECIAL POWERS FOR SECURITY OFFENCES Power of arrest and detention s. 4(12)(a), (b) & (c) of SOSMA (12) For the purpose of this section, “political belief or political activity” means engaging in a lawful activity through— (a) the expression of an opinion or the pursuit of a course of action made according to the tenets of a political party that is at the relevant time… Read more »

Hakimi Abdul Jabar
23 Nov 2016 2.41pm

Power of arrest and detention under SOSMA
Section 4 (3) of SOSMA clearly states that “No person shall be arrested and detained under this section solely for his political belief or political activity.”
It is quite obvious that Maria Chin Abdullah who had promised the Bersih 5 Rally primarily & mainly to pressure for greater accountability and actions be taken against Malaysian Official 1 following the law suit by US Department of Justice (DoJ) against state investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad, who was arrested & detained on & from Friday under Penal Code Section 124C, which penalises attempts to “commit activity detrimental to democracy”, was merely exercising her legal constitutional & human rights, political beliefs & activities.

Hence, the Malaysian Bar’s sound & intrepid call for her release from the much-maligned SOSMA detention are based on lucid & cogent reasons :

http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/legal/general_news/malaysian_bar_calls_for_marias_release_from_sosma_detention.html
http://m.thesundaily.my/node/385089

Hakimi Abdul Jabar
23 Nov 2016 3.18am

RELEASE MARIA, REPEAL SOSMA! MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH, BERSIH & 1MDB & MO1 Maria Chin last month confirmed a fifth instalment of the electoral reform group’s street protests, which will aim to press for action over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case after the US government filed a lawsuit to seize assets linked to the state investment firm. (press statement in September 2016) http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/maria-chin-bersih-5-in-november http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/press_statements/press_release_%7C_sosma_must_not_be_misused_to_silence_critics_of_1mdb.html Application of SOSMA 2. This Act shall apply to security offences. PP v Yazid Sufaat & Ors. [2014] 2 CLJ 670 [CA] [24] In our judgment section 2 of SOSMA makes it clear that the procedure laid down in SOSMA apply to trial of any person charged with committing any security offence under Chapter VIA of the Code. http://www.cljlaw.com/others/clj_bulletin/Bulletin_13_2014.htm http://www.kehakiman.gov.my/directory/judgment/file/W-05-141-05-2013.pdf Chapter VIA of the Penal Code of Malaysia specifically pertains to Offences Relating to Terrorism https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_Code_(Malaysia) Former Attorney-General Gani Patail : Sosma introduced to deal with terrorism http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/11/04/gani-patail-sosma-for-terrorism/ http://www.searcct.gov.my/images/pdf/sosma/SOSMA_en.pdf Despite application of SOSMA in Chapter VI & VIA Penal Code offences (First Schedule SOSMA), SOSMA is only intended to to deal with terrorism and other security offences. It was not intended to… Read more »

Hakimi Abdul Jabar
22 Nov 2016 7.27pm

MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH, BERSIH & 1MDB & MO1

Maria Chin last month confirmed a fifth instalment of the electoral reform group’s street protests, which will aim to press for action over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case after the US government filed a lawsuit to seize assets linked to the state investment firm.

http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/press_statements/press_release_%7C_sosma_must_not_be_misused_to_silence_critics_of_1mdb.html
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/maria-chin-bersih-5-in-november

Application of SOSMA
2. This Act shall apply to security offences.

PP v Yazid Sufaat & Ors. [2014] 2 CLJ 670 [CA]
[24] In our judgment section 2 of SOSMA makes it clear that the procedure laid down in SOSMA apply to trial of any person charged with committing any security offence under Chapter VIA of the Code.

http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/press_statements/press_release_%7C_sosma_must_not_be_misused_to_silence_critics_of_1mdb.html

Gani Patail: Sosma introduced to deal with terrorism
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/11/04/gani-patail-sosma-for-terrorism/

http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/press_statements/press_release_%7C_sosma_must_not_be_misused_to_silence_critics_of_1mdb.html