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Amnesty calls for Tian Chua’s immediate release

 | October 5, 2017

It says he is a prisoner of conscience whose imprisonment is 'part of a pattern of repression'.

tian-chua

PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International (AI) has called for the immediate release of Batu MP Tian Chua, labelling his arrest, charge and imprisonment as an alarming abuse of power by the authorities.

This followed Tian Chua’s move on Sept 29 to withdraw his final appeal against his conviction and one-month jail sentence for refusing to obey a police order to leave a restricted area following the Bersih 3 rally in 2012.

In a statement, AI said Tian Chua had been imprisoned solely for exercising his human rights in a peaceful manner.

Calling him a prisoner of conscience, it added that his imprisonment was “part of a pattern of repression against outspoken but peaceful critics of the government in Malaysia”.

Last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld the Session Court’s 2014 decision to fine and jail Tian Chua for refusing a police order to leave the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) premises.

He was found guilty of refusing an order from DSP A Rajagopal to leave the Pulapol area on Jalan Semarak at 2.30am on April 29, 2012, a day after the Bersih rally.

Police said Pulapol was listed as a protected area according to the Protected Areas Order (No 2) 1975.

However, Tian Chua said he had been arrested along with 500 other people during the Bersih rally on April 28, 2012 and sent to Pulapol.

He added that it was “an absurdity” to penalise him for being there as he had been brought there against his will.

AI noted that Tian Chua still had two cases pending in court, carrying a jail term of up to three months and an additional fine of more than RM4,000, which puts him at risk of being disqualified from public office and from running in the coming election.

It added that his imprisonment came amid a wider crackdown on freedom of expression and other forms of peaceful political dissent in Malaysia.


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