P.Uthayakumar’s Sedition charge untenable (HINDRAF letter to Ex.PM.Gordon Brown); Urgent Appeal to International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Geneve & International NGOs’. Watching brief @ Federal Court.
1st August 2012
International Commission of Jurists
33 rue des Bains Fax : +410229793801
C.P.O Box 912 E-Mail : email@example.com
Re: British trained Malaysian human rights lawyer and ex prisoner of conscience P. Uthayakumar prosecuted for Sedition for writing letter to ex-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on victimization of the 8% ethnic Indian minority in Malaysia. Sedition Act 1948 announced to be repealed but trial proceeds. Urgent Appeal Representation.
We act for British trained lawyer Uthayakumar a/l Ponnusamy @ P. Uthayakumar,
an Advocate and Solicitor of 21 years standing at the High Court of Malaya at
Kuala Lumpur, a prominent human rights lawyer in Malaysia, de facto leader
of Hindraf (an NGO) and pro tem Secretary General of the Human Rights Party
Upon returning from law studies in London in 1990 Mr. Uthayakumar besides being a practicing lawyer was also actively involved in human rights work. In 2003 he very briefly sought asylm in the United Kingdom after he was attacked at gun point and his car smashed up and thereafter a life bullet with a death threat note was sent to him believed to be from members of the Malaysian secret police.(see photos enclosed herewith). At that point in time he was at the peak of seriously championing the mostly ethnic Indian minority suspects death/killed in police custody (reported at 1 person in every two weeks) and shot dead by the police (reported at 1.3 persons every week). In June 2003 Mr. Uthayakumar met Mr. Michael Birnbourne, QC, Barrister at law, at his Chambers in London. Mr. Michael on behalf of the British Bar Council had made a representation to the
government of Malaysia. Mr. Uthayakumar had been safe and instructs us that no politically motivated criminal prosecution was instituted against him.
Detained without trial for 17 months
Mr. Uthayakumar then also continued with his human rights work against hindu temple demolishments by the local authorities (reported at one demolished in every one week in 2007) until he was punished by being detained without trial as a prisoner of conscience under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) at the Kamunting Prison for nearly 17 months from 13/12/07 to 9/5/2009 largely for leading the unprecedented 25th November 2007 100,000 people Hindraf peaceful assembly at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre by the ethnic minority Indian community. This later helped cause the Malaysian political tsunami in the 8th March 2008 General elections.
Sedition Charge letter to Gordon Brown
Two days prior to his said ISA arrest, Mr. Uthayakumar was on 11/12/2007 prosecuted under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which is punishable to up to three (3) years jail for writing and publishing on the website of www.policewatchmalaysia.com a letter dated 15/11/07 to the then British Prime Minister The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP and copied to the government of Malaysia and some 50 other International NGOs’ and governments as part of the International campaign which Mr. Uthayakumar instructs us is on in effect victimising the mere 8% ethnic minority Indian poor community in Malaysia (copy of this letter which is the integral part of the Sedition charge sheet are both enclosed herewith). (Note : This Sedition charge was on 4/6/12 (nearly 4 ½ years later) amended to remove the website address etc).
The nine (9) point Statement of facts in Mr. Uthayakumar’s ISA detention Order dated 13/12/2007 also overlaps with the aforesaid Sedition charge (seven points overlap directly) (copy of ISA Detention Order dated 13/12/2007 is enclosed herewith). In our view this Sedition charge is one of Double Jeopardy ie Mr. Uthayakumar is being punished twice for in effect the same charge/ alleged offence.
At all material times Mr. Uthayakumar was acting in the general public interest and in his 21 years as a human and minority rights activist he has written thousands of pages of letters, memorandums and protest notes to the government of Malaysia criticizing especially victimising the mere 8% ethnic minority Indian poor community in Malaysia.
Repeal of Sedition Act 1948
The Malaysian Prime Minister had on 11/7/2012 announced the repeal of the obsolete colonial era Sedition Act 1948 and which is to be replaced by The National Harmony Act. (The New Straits Times headlines 12/7/2012). Under the proposed National Harmony Act the de facto Federal Law Minister was reported to have said “ The National Harmony Act which will replace the Sedition Act 1948, allows criticism of government and leaders in the effort to guarantee freedom of speech as enshrined in the country’s constitution said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz”.“He said under the Sedition Act, this was not permitted”.“The Sedition Act has a provision of not allowing the raising of anger against the government, but now we have discarded it”.“Criticisms levelled at the government and leaders are legitimate as freedom of speech is guaranteed under the Constitution”.“We should face the criticisms by the people as this will serve as a check and balance for the government to realize its weaknesses".(New Sunday Times 15/7/12 at page 16) (copies of the media reports are enclosed herewith).
Appeal to Prime Minister
To this effect we have vide our (Solicitors firm) letter dated 17/7/2012 made a representation to the Prime Minister, De facto law Minister and the Attorney General that the Sedition criminal charges against Mr. Uthayakumar be withdrawn especially in the spirit of the intended repeal of the Sedition Act (copy enclosed herewith). But to date we are yet to receive a reply. To the direct contrary Mr. Uthayakumar’s Sedition trial is proceeding with the next hearing date fixed within a two weeks date. This Mr. Uthayakumar instructs us to state that it is politically motivated with the view to convict him so that he would be disqualified from contesting in the general elections which is excepted at any time now.
Interim stay of proceedings denied
We had on 30/7/12 applied to the K.L High Court for an interim stay of proceedings at the trial Sessions Court but this application was also dismissed and the trial is scheduled to proceed on 13/8/12.
At the last hearing date before the said trial Sessions Court on 27/7/12, Mr. Uthayakumar was delayed by one hour and ten minutes as he was held up at the High Court trying to secure an urgent hearing date for the said interim stay application. The said learned trial Judge had by then issued a warrant for Mr. Uthayakumar’s arrest despite learning from the learned DPP that Mr. Uthayakumar was held up at the High Court.
Urgent Appeal Representation
We hereby seek your kind indulgence in making an Urgent Appeal Representation to our Prime Minister, De Facto Law Minister and the Attorney General with the view that the Sedition charges against Mr. Uthayakumar is withdrawn especially so in the spirit of the intended repeal of the obsolete Sedition Act 1948 and the new Harmony Act. (see contact details below)
Watching Brief at Federal Court
We also seek your kind indulgence in sending a Watching Brief lawyer/representative at the High Court hearing/soon to be filed at the apex Federal Court Review application that the Sedition Act 1948 is ultra vires Article 10 (1) (a) of the Federal constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and that the Sedition Charge against Mr. P. Uthayakumar be dismissed.
Your kind indulgence in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
M MANOHARAN & CO.
1. Relevant contacts:
a) YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra, Fax : 03-8888 3444
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62502 Putrajaya. E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
b) Y.B Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law),
Pejabat Y.B Menteri,
Tingkat 15, Fax : 03-20781719
Menara Parlimen, E-Mail: email@example.com
50680 Kuala Lumpur.
c) Y.Bhg.Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail,
Attorney General of Malaysia.
Aras 1-8, Block C3, Parcel C Fax: 03-88889369
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Mr. P. Uthayakumar could be contacted at his legal firm @
Messrs Kumar Hashimah & Co, No. 6A, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03-22825241 & 03-22825622,
Fax : 03-22825245,
Mobile : 013-3504711
3. For further and better particulars of Mr. P. Uthayakumar’s day to day public campaigns kindly access www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com
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