TAGS: Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network • Censorship and Free Speech, Freedom of Expression, Prisoners and People at Risk, Prisoners of Conscience • Malaysia, Southeast Asia •
09/17/2018

Urgent Action Victory! – All 14 Charges Against Political Activist Dropped (Malaysia: UA 238.15)


Khalid Mohd Ismath, former prisoner of conscience, has had all charges against him dropped. Arrested on 13 October 2015 and released on bail later that same month, Khalid Mohd Ismath has faced court proceedings, including hearings that were often postponed, for nearly three years. Following the good news, no further action is required.

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Khalid Mohd Ismath, former prisoner of conscience, has had all charges against him dropped. Arrested on 13 October 2015 and released on bail later that same month, Khalid Mohd Ismath has faced court proceedings, including hearings that were often postponed, for nearly three years. Following the good news, no further action is required.

All charges against Khalid Mohd Ismath were dropped by the Attorney General of Malaysia on 29 August 2018. The decision came nearly three years after he was charged with 11 counts under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and three counts under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Johor Baru Sessions Court, in Johor state. The dropping of the charges follows the announcement of the Attorney-General’s Chambers in July 2018 that it would review all sedition charges pending before it.

Khalid Mohd Ismath, a former prisoner of conscience, was charged in connection with the publication of a series of Facebook posts that were deemed offensive to the royal family of the State of Johor and the Royal Malaysian Police. The posts were about their abuse of power and were published on a solidarity page for Kamal Hisham Jaafar, a former legal adviser to the Johor Royal family who was detained on allegations of corruption.

Khalid Mohd Ismath was released on 29 October 2015 after posting bail amounting to RM70,000 (about USD17,000). Between that time and the dropping of the charges against him, Khalid Mohd Ismath continued to be active online and on the ground, commenting on political issues through his social media accounts and assisting other activists who, like him, were subjected to arrests and/or detention. He is the youth chief of the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

Khalid Mohd Ismath and ten other activists, lawyers, and other personalities have had their sedition and other charges dropped recently, following the change in Malaysia’s leadership after the elections in May 2018 and the appointment in June 2018 of new Attorney General. They include political cartoonist Zunar, for whom Amnesty International had likewise internationally campaigned and whose sedition charges were withdrawn by the Attorney General in July 2018.

No further action is required. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES