Faizudin freed on bail, dad slams police high-handedness

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan

At last, young Faizudin Hazmah has been released from police remand after spending the past three nights in an adult lock-up for alleged involvement in a mammoth anti-ISA rally on Saturday.

He was charged in court on Monday along with 12 other people under Section 43 of the Societies Act and released only after 5pm on bail of RM300.

All 13 were accused of assisting the Anti-ISA Movement (GMI) by distributing T-shirts with ‘Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA’ imprinted on them and if found guilty face a maximum fine of a RM3,000 or a jail term of three years.

Another 16 people were charged under the Penal Code or Police Act for illegal assembly.

In the wake of the chaos caused by their own attacks against the protesters, who were mostly peaceful, the police arrested some 589 people, of which 40 were women and 44 were aged below 18. They also tried to remand three minors.

Human rights lawyers managed to fight off the detention order for Suhaib bin Mat Sah, aged 16, and his schoolmate Ammar bin Bad Latiff, aged 13.

But Faizudin was less fortunate. Arrested at 11.55pm on Friday night at the Kuala Lumpur central bus station, he was initially remanded for four days. Although police did not give any reasons, the magistrate still granted an omnibus detention order without even seeing the boy, who was sleeping when he was taken in.

“The children are being used as bargaining chips. It is a violation of the International Convention of Children’s Rights of which Malaysia is a signatory,” human rights lawyer and PKR communications director Jonson Chong had said.

Public uproar, family upset

Faizudin’s remand created an uproar as he was placed in a cell with adult prisoners, made to walk bare-footed and wear inmate uniform.

Officers from the welfare department were not allowed to see him, neither was he allowed access to lawyers nor the stream of children NGOs who tried hard to help. However, the police refused to budge.

According to his fatherKadeni Jamali, Faizuddin and his two brothers Kamarul Nadir, 18, and Abu Ubaidah, 20, were on their way to visit their uncle in Kajang when all three were arrested.

An upset Kadeni said the police did not contact him and he only found out what happened to his children after receiving a call from a lawyer at 3am on Sunday.

“The lawyer called me and told me that two of my sons are in Bukit Jalil and one, who is under-aged, is in Petaling Jaya,” the 51-year old father told reporters on Monday.

“I really regret that the police never tried to contact me, it took me two days to find them. The police should have told me.”

Kadeni also slammed the police for not being able to furnish any reasons for the arrests but yet said his children were still under investigation.

According to him, his sons are not members of Unit Amal, an outfit of PAS Youth, as alleged by the authorities. He plans to lodge a police report to complain of the wrongful procedures used against Faizudin, who is still a minor.

His lawyer Fadiah Nadwa earlier said they would file a revision on the boy’s remand order.

“The remand order is not valid because he is still a child and no Welfare Department officers have been notified, and he was handcuffed and put into a lockup with adults. The most important thing was that he was remanded without lawyers,” she said.