KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Activist Khalid Mohd Ismath has been rearrested under the Sedition Act 1948 and remanded today for four days over an alleged tweet criticising the detention of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) critic Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang.
News portal Malaysiakini reported that Khalid was first detained Wednesday in Johor Baru under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and that he was supposed to be released last night after the court denied a police application for an extension to his two-day remand.
“This morning when he was brought to court, the police were granted a four-day remand,” Sevan Doraisamy, executive director of human rights group Suaram, told Malaysiakini after getting the information from Khalid's wife.
Suaram said in a statement that the police had sufficient time to conduct investigations during Khalid's first arrest under the Communications and Multimedia Act and stressed that a further remand under the Sedition Act was unnecessary.
"Suaram implore (sic) the officers in charge of his case to put an end to his remand and proceed with investigation without further unnecessary incarceration," Sevan said.
Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) meanwhile condemned the use of the Sedition Act on Khalid as unnecessary, saying his alleged tweet on October 6 was not seditious at all.
"GHAH urges the government to stop using the draconian Act and calls on Datuk Seri Najib to fulfil his 2012 pledge to repeal this cruel law in order to protect diversity and to respect freedom of expression and the freedom to give opinions," said GHAH coordinator Amir Abd Hadi in a statement today.