Courting injustice: One-month jail sentence for Umar is excessive, unfair

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Aliran is appalled that a heavy sentence has been meted out to ‘Occupy Dataran’ student Umar Mohd Azmi after he was found guilty of “obstructing a public officer”.

Umar Mohd Azmi - Graphic: Malaysiakini
Umar Mohd Azmi – Graphic: Malaysiakini

We feel that the one-month jail sentence and the RM1,000 fine imposed by a magistrate’s court is clearly unjust as Umar was only involved in civil — not violent — disobedience. He was merely exercising the right to freedom of assembly – a right enshrined and guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.
 
This injustice is gravely aggravated when compared with other recent court rulings that have seen individuals involved in far more serious cases of killing and rape being freed or receiving light sentences.
 
Umar, like many other Malaysians who are genuinely concerned about issues that matter most to the general public, should be allowed to exercise his constitutional right to express his feelings as long as it is peaceful and not violent.
 
We hope that the court will reconsider its decision so that natural justice, which appears to be a rare commodity these days, can be upheld and duly respected.
 
Aliran Executive Committee
22 December 2012

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