Uproar as Malaysia activist charged with sedition

Featured South East Asia - May 24th, 2013
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Malaysian authorities have charged a student activist with sedition and detained three others, including two anti-government figures, in what critics of the government decried as a crackdown on dissent.

Adam Adli Halim, 24, was charged under the Sedition Act over a statement calling for people to “go down to the streets to seize back our power” during a public post-election forum.

Senior opposition politician Tian Chua and rights activist Haris Ibrahim were detained Thursday for statements allegedly “inciting” people and criticizing the ruling National Front coalition. A third politician, Mailk Imtiaz, was also arrested without any further details.

The latest arrests under the Sedition Act come amid opposition claims that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s National Front coalition retained power through bogus ballots and other irregularities, renewing the debate surrounding the government’s use of the law, reports Al Jazeera.

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, the student activist’s lawyer, slammed the use of the Sedition Act against his client.

“It’s clearly still being used to stifle dissent,” Fadiah told AFP. “The law is open to abuse… it’s an infringement to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly”.