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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14, 2015:

The remand and charges against activist Khalid Ismath for his posts on social media were “excessive and unnecessary” as far as upholding the law was concerned, said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

Calling it a “gross abuse of power”, Suaram also chided authorities for denying Khalid bail and “coercing” a confession out of the activist.

“When we consider the excessive detention of Khalid when he was first arrested, the absurd amount of charges levelled against him and the shocking behaviour of the police during questioning, it is difficult for anyone to consider the actions against Khalid as anything but malicious in nature.

“The clear intent to intimidate the public and possible dissenter is outrageous and should not be permitted in any democratic nation.

“The criminal justice system should not and must not be a tool to stifle political dissent,” Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said in a statement yesterday.

Khalid was detained on Oct 7 under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 over comments he made on Twitter with regards to the detention of former Batu Kawan Umno chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang.

He was remanded for two days, which was later extended to another four days.

Khalid was then re-arrested days later after being released from remand, with reports that quoted Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) former secretary-general S. Arutchelvan as saying that Khalid’s wife believed he was to be detained under Sedition Act.

He was charged with 11 counts under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act and three counts under the Sedition Act.

“Suaram calls for the police and the public prosecutor to put an end to this farce and release Khalid or at the very least amend the charges levelled against Khalid to something more reasonable and proportionate to the alleged crime and allow him to be released on bail,” said Sevan.

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