Malaysia police release 3 editors, keep 2 top media execs in detention for alleged sedition

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - The editors of The Malaysian Insider (TMI) were released on Tuesday night after more than 24-hours since their detention on sedition allegations over an article on the hudud Islamic penal code.

TMI managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa Malaysia features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong and Bahasa Malaysia news editor Amin Iskandar were released from police custody at Dang Wangi police headquarters at about 6.20pm to the cheers from supporters, after their remand order was rejected by magistrate Tuan Nazri Omran.

However, the three TMI editors were brought back up to give their statements after signing the release forms and only stepped out from the police station at 9pm.

Morais said they were treated "fairly" by police.

The Edge's publisher Ho Kay Tat and TMI's chief executive officer Jahabar Sadiq, who were arrested on Tuesday morning, are still in police custody and will be detained overnight at the Dang Wangi police headquarters.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan tweeted that Ho and Jahabar will have their remand hearing at 10.30am on Wednesday.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have also recorded statements from a TMI Bahasa sub-editor, IT staff, the human resource manager and a reporter who translated the original story from Bahasa Malaysia to English.

The five were arrested under the Sedition Act over an article that was published on March 25.

The article said the Confederation of Rulers - Malaysia's monarchy - had rejected a proposal to amend a federal law that could allow the use of hudud in Malaysia.

Malaysia's Islamist opposition party, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) is calling for strict enforcement of sharia, or Islamic law, for Muslims that includes amputations and stonings.