Suaram decries student’s detention under Sosma after acquittal


KUALA LUMPUR: The human rights and civil liberties NGO Suaram has called on the attorney-general’s chambers to withdraw its arrest of student Siti Noor Aishah Atan over alleged possession of illegal books.

Its executive director, Sevan Doraisamy, said Siti, a research student at Universiti Malaya, should be released from her detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

In a statement today, he said Suaram was notified that Siti had been re-arrested and returned to detention under Sosma following her hearing at the Court of Appeal this morning.

Siti was detained under Sosma for allegedly being in possession of the materials.

On Sept 29 last year, she was acquitted and discharged by the High Court over the charge of having 12 publications related to terrorism.

However, she was rearrested under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) after her release.

“To date, Siti’s detention remains one of the most deplorable uses of Sosma and Poca,” Sevan said.

After her 60 days’ detention under Poca, she was sentenced to house arrest with an electronic monitoring device (EMD) attached to her, Sevan said.

The attorney-general’s chambers has meanwhile also appealed the High Court’s decision to discharge her, he noted.

Following her hearing at the Court of Appeal this morning, Siti was detained again under Sosma pending the continuation of her trial at the High Court.

“Suaram strongly condemns the use of laws such as Sosma that provide detention without trial,” Sevan said.

“With no clear evidence against her, the repeated attempt to deprive Siti of her freedom through unscrupulous means can only be described as abuse of power and a gross human rights violation.”

He stressed that Siti was already sentenced to house arrest with the monitoring device under Poca and the finding by the High Court judge stood in her favour.

He said these factors made it clear that there is no need for her continued detention under Sosma while her case proceeds to full trial.