Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mosque protest: Court frees 11 after ten years

The Magistrate Court here freed all 11 suspects who were detained and charged for participating in a peaceful protest held within the compounds of the National Mosque in year 2000.

The court yesterday acquitted and set free the detainees after a witness from the Royal Malaysian Police failed to attend yesterday’s scheduled hearing.

Among the freed were PKR chief strategist Tian Chua and parliamentarian Sivararasa Rasiah, cartoonist Zunar (Zulkefli Anwar Ul Haq), blogger Hishamuddin Rais and former PKR youth secretary Lokman Nor Adam. Others were Munir, Mona Sofian, Nora, Malik Husin and Ansari.

Another accused Omar Tan has since died.

Ten years ago today, police armed with batons and tear gas swooped in on several hundred protestors who were demonstrating in the grounds of the National Mosque against the Home Ministry’s move to ban Pas weekly publication, Harakah.

Until March 2000, Harakah was a twice-a-week publication. Since then however it is only available twice a month.

On Dec 24,1999 the Home Ministry had warned Harakah to limit its sale to party members. They had two days earlier prohibited the sale of Harakah at public news-stands.

Harakah’s defiance later led to the suspension of its permit.

Party insiders reportedly said, at the time, that the Ministry’s move was a retaliation to Pas big win the 1999 general elections. Pas took over an unprecedented 27 parliamentary seats and two state – Kelantan and Terengganu- administrations.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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