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Activist hauled to court in Penang

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Ong Jing Cheng reports on the fate of activist Lau Shu Shi, who was hauled up on 1 August 2010 while attending an anti-ISA vigil in Penang.



Former Suaram Penang coordinator Lau Shu Shi was charged in court on 2 August 2010 for alleged ‘disorderly conduct in a police station’ under section 90 of the Police Act. The 1967 Act states that ‘any person who, in a police station, behaves in a riotous, indecent, disorderly or insulting manner, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act’.

This alleged act goes back to May 2008 when she was arrested at Patani Road police station after making a police report to complaint about police action against anti-ISA protesters that day. Shu Shi spent a night in the lock-up and was brought to court the next day, however the police then decided against requesting for further remand and released her on police bail later.

More than two years since the incident have passed, the police served a warrant of arrest on Shu Shi on 1 Aug 2010 when she was attending another anti-ISA vigil in Penang, ordering her to appear in court the very next morning to face charges. Today, her case was mentioned in court and her trial has been scheduled to be heard on 20 October 2010 at 11.00am in Magistrate (Criminal) Court 1.

The Penang Legal Aid Centre have taken up Shu Shi’s case as a matter of public interest. V Parthipan, who heads Penang Bar’s Criminal Law sub-committee and Karen Lai are counsels representing Shu Shi. Parthipan and Karen have also initiated the setting up of a Human Rights sub-committee, which, hopefully, will encourage more lawyers in Penang to provide legal assistance on human rights violations in the future.

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Ong Jing Cheng is coordinator of Suaram Penang.

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