Bersih chief files application to challenge detention under security law

PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUALA LUMPUR - Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah  on Tuesday filed a habeas corpus application to challenge her detention under Security Offences and Special Measures Act (Sosma) 2012.

Maria, 60, filed the application at the High Court Registry via Messrs Daim & Gamany. Her three sons Azumin Mohamad Yunus, Aziman and Azemi were also present in court.

In her notice of motion, Maria is seeking an order for an urgent release, to be brought to the court during the hearing of the application and not subjected to any restriction under Sosma.

Azumin, 23, told a press conference that his mother's detention was unjust and hoped that she would be given access to her medication.

He said his mother suffered from high blood pressure and cholesterol problem.

"I saw her on Sunday and she was visibly tired," he said.

Maria was detained on Friday in a pre-Bersih swoop by police along with other opposition leaders, Bersih and Red Shirts leaders and student activists.

Thousands take part in Bersih 5 rally in KL

  • Dr Mahathir arrives at Bersih 5.
  • Police standby near Masjid Jamek at 7 am.
  • A Bersih 5 member having her photo taken in front of the police barricade at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman at 8am.
  • Police line drawn across Jalan Tun Perak at 8am.
  • Police FRU at Jalan Tun Perak at 8am.
  • Part of the Bersih 5 security members having their photo taken in front of the police barricade at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman at 8am.
  • A Bersih 5 member in a Pikachu costume at the rally.
  • A Bersih 5 member in a Pikachu costume and his group at the rally.
  • Bersih 5 rally at Dataran Maybank, Bangsar.
  • rowd of Bersih 5 rally gathering near Masjid Jamek.
  • LRT coming in from Taman Bahagia side at 9.40 packed with yellow shirts.
  • Donning the yellow Bersih T-shirt for the first time, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called on Malaysians to take part in the Bersih 5 rally on Saturday.
  • Maria Chin Abdullah, chairperson of the coalition of Malaysian NGOs and activist groups known as Bersih, that also translates as "clean" in the local Malay language, speaks with journalists in Kuala Lumpur on September 14, 2016.
  • "That is why we need to show our dissatisfaction with the Government by taking part in this demonstration by Bersih in Dataran Merdeka and also at other locations," he said in the video.
  • Dr Mahathir added that he hoped all Malaysians would join the rally as Bersih aimed to find a way to revitalise the country by changing the Government so it would not be ruled by "someone who embezzled so much money" and was being "accused by the whole world".
  • In a video uploaded on Twitter, Dr Mahathir, who banned protests and assemblies during his 22-year tenure as prime minister, said Malaysians needed to show their dissatisfaction through the demonstration.
  • "Malaysia is now in distress because (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib's administration has caused the country to rake up billions of ringgit in debts that are unable to be paid by the Government and the country.
  • In 2015, Dr Mahathir attended Bersih 4.0 with his wife. On Sunday, Dr Mahathir was seen wearing a "free Anwar" badge at the Pakatan Harapan convention in Shah Alam.
  • A convoy of two dozen cars snakes into this sleepy Malaysian town, breaking the rural calm with warnings of corruption and national decay.
  • Maria Chin Abdullah, chair of civil-society alliance Bersih (2nd, R) signing autograph on a banner ahead their demonstration in the capital Kuala Lumpur to demand Najib's resignation in Malaysia's northern town of Ipoh.
  • A member of civil-society alliance Bersih delivering a flyer at ahead their demonstration in the capital Kuala Lumpur to demand Najib's resignation in Malaysia's northern town of Ipoh.
  • Malaysia's leading political protest group announced plans for a seven-week roadshow capped by a November 19 rally in the capital to demand the scandal-tainted prime minister's resignation.
  • Maria Chin Abdullah (L), chair of civil-society alliance Bersih talking during her door-to-door canvassing ahead their demonstration in the capital Kuala Lumpur to demand Najib's resignation in Malaysia's northern town of Ipoh.
  • A group of Bersih supporters have gathered at the Ampitheatre here although the premises was closed by the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) for restoration works.
  • Dozens of council enforcement officers including plainclothes policemen were seen monitoring the area as the crowd gathered.
  • The main section of the park was also cordoned off with barricade tapes.
  • The group converged at the Ampitheatre from five nearby gathering points at Jalan Badaruddin, civic centre, museum park, Reservoir Park and St Joseph School.
  • Bersih 5 committee is still negotiating with local authorities for another venue for the assembly.
  • Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen also showed up at the rally as an observer.

'Free Maria Chin' online petition gains traction

An online petition opposing the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) against Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah is gaining traction, with over 23,000 signatures since Monday.

The petition on ipetition.com demands the unconditional release of Maria and the repeal of Sosma.

"When tabling the bill in Parliament in 2011, the government assured and promised Malaysians repeatedly that Sosma will not be used on the basis of differences in political ideology, but it is evident today that the administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is reneging on its promise.

"In our view, this is a clear abuse of legislative and executive powers," read the petition which has a goal of 40,000 signatures.

As of Tuesday morning, the petition has garnered 23,462 signatures.

Maria was detained on Friday in a pre-Bersih 5.0 swoop by police on several opposition leaders and activists.

She is now held at an undisclosed location and could be detained for 28 days under the Act.

Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail previously said that Sosma was introduced to deal with terrorism and other security offences and not to suppress political freedom.

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