Around 500 people in Malaysia – including family members, friends and supporters – congregated to demand the release of the 12 men that were arrested in October for alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is still labelled as a ‘terrorist organisation’ in the country.
Despite the rain, hundreds attended the rally to stand in solidarity on Friday 17th January, which marked 100 days since the 12 men were arrested and held in detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, otherwise known as SOSMA.
The SOSMA, which has previously been condemned by Malaysian politicians and socialists, was criticised by demonstrators outside the Sogo department store in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, on Saturday evening.
The group of protestors, organised by human rights group Suaram, called for the abolition of the SOSMA which currently allows for detention without a trial.
“We feel that these arrests are politically motivated,” said Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy. “Sosma clearly infringes human rights. In this case, the PH government is clearly using rule of the jungle’ and not rule of law,” he added.
Among those held in detention are two Malaysian lawmakers; Gadek assemblyperson G Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyperson P Gunasekaran.
On November 2019, Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that Section 13 of SOSMA is unconstitutional, leaving the possibility of a judge granting the arrested individuals bail despite being charged with a ‘terrorism-related offence’.
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