Court dismisses application to remand Siti Kasim

Activist Siti Kasim, in lock-up uniform, being escorted by police at the court premises today.

KAJANG: The Magistrate’s Court has dismissed the remand application against lawyer and human rights activist Siti Kasim over allegations that she had obstructed police officers from discharging their duties.

Ambiga Sreenevasan, who led a team of lawyers on behalf of Siti, said that registrar Sharifah Fazilah Zulkifli had dismissed the police’s application to hold Siti for four days.

“We assume the application was dismissed because there was no basis for the remand order.

“We sat down for over an hour for a full hearing and the registrar heard opinions from all sides,” she said, adding that Siti is being investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty.

Nearly 20 of Siti’s supporters from the legal profession and human rights groups had turned up at the court for the remand hearing. They included Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and women’s rights activist Ivy Josiah.

Maria said Siti’s arrest was unjustified and it was a clear case of police abuse.

“This is why we need an IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission).”

Early this morning, police had arrested Siti at the Kajang police headquarters, hours after officers broke into her home following a report accusing her of forcibly detaining a woman.

It is understood that Siti’s client, a woman in her 20s, was picked up by police after a complaint lodged by her mother claiming that her daughter’s faith was in question.

Siti had earlier said that the woman, who she claimed was abused by the mother, had been “abducted” by the police and Islamic authorities in Selangor.

A video posted on Facebook shows Siti at the police station, demanding that her client be freed. A woman was also heard from another room, denying that she had been kidnapped by Siti.