OKT Perhimpunan menentang ISA: Keputusan Mahkamah yang tidak konsisten(Updated)

Sivarasah bebas dari sebarang tuduhan, tetapi lima wanita didakwa…

Kenapa pula ini? Adakah staf Mahkamah kurang/tidak buat kerja dengan sebaiknya?

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Aug 4, 2009
29 charged in KL

All plead not guilty and are out on bail

By Hazlin Hassan, Malaysia Correspondent
In the biggest demonstration in Malaysia for nearly two years, police used tear gas and water cannon on Saturday to disperse thousands of people calling for the abolition of laws that allow for detention without trial. — PHOTO: AP

KUALA LUMPUR – A TOTAL of 29 people were charged in court here on Monday for taking part in a massive protest at the weekend against the Internal Security Act (ISA).

In all, 589 people were arrested during Saturday’s demonstrations in downtown Kuala Lumpur, but most of them were released, including opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president R. Sivarasa, who was freed on Monday.

Among the 29 hauled up in court on Monday were a 16-year-old boy, a 60-year-old woman and another woman, Norlaila Othman, whose husband has been an ISA detainee for the past seven years.

The accused were charged with taking part in an illegal assembly or aiding an illegal organisation in connection with the protests.

All of them pleaded not guilty. They were freed on bail and will be tried on Sept 4. If convicted, they face jail terms of one to three years.

Saturday’s demonstration, which drew a turnout of some 15,000 to 20,000 people, was organised by the Abolish ISA Movement and attracted the support of opposition party leaders.

The protesters say the ISA should be scrapped because it is being used as a means to quash legitimate dissent from opposition party members and civil rights groups.

In court on Monday, defence counsel Azizul Shariman Mat Yusoff argued that the group that mounted the protest should not be regarded as an illegal organisation.

‘The Abolish ISA Movement is a coalition comprising 83 registered NGOs and political parties,’ he said.

Separately, human rights group Suaram issued a statement saying it would lodge a police report against the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, for curtailing the protesters’ freedom of assembly.

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