April 20, 2014
JOHOR BAHRU – This morning, four men, Mohd Salleh Ahmad, Steven Chong, Koh Jit Huat and Thomas Fann were charged in the Johor Bahru Magistrate Court.
According to the charge sheets, the four were charged for gathering in a restricted area under Section 4(2) (b) and for not given the ten days notice to the police for organising a peaceful assembly which is in violation of Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
All four pleaded not guilty and the court has fixed the next hearing on May 5, 2014 and were released without bail.
On 26 March, the same court had discharged the four not amounting to acquittal because the police had failed to observe the proper procedure of issuing a summon or a warrant of arrest against the four.
Later, outside the courthouse, Steven Chong said, they have denied the charges due to the fact that they were not the organizers of the candle light vigil.
They only attended the candle light vigil to show their support for Adam Adli, a student activist, who was arrested for sedition.
Meanwhile, Bersih 2.0’s southern region vice-chairperson, Thomas Fann said, that the charges brought against them were more of public intimidation to silence the public who stand up for injustice.
We will not be intimidated , said Thomas Fann, and through this more and more people will stand up against injustice and to exercise their rights to express and the freedom to assemble peacefully.
Adam Adli was also seen in the court house today who has driven down from Kuala Lumpur at 4.00 a.m. this morning, to lend his support for the four who were charged.
He said, in charging the four men, the government had shown its move to intimidate the people.
Adam Adli was arrested on 18 May 2013 over statements he made during a forum held at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur.
He was arrested under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, which he had subsequently spent six days in jail.
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