Malaysian student jailed over anti-government protest
Published on Dec 21, 2012 8:07 PM
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian court jailed a student activist for a month on Friday over his role in a protest, despite the government's pledge to increase freedom of speech and assembly.
State news agency Bernama reported that a magistrate's court had found Umar Mohd Azmi guilty of obstructing a Kuala Lumpur City Hall officer during the protest against the government's university loan scheme in April. The 23-year-old final year undergraduate had allegedly obstructed the officer from arresting a fellow activist on April 23, during a week-long occupation of a historic landmark in the capital.
Umar's lawyer Syahredzan Johan told AFP: "We were surprised because even the deputy public prosecutor did not ask for a jail sentence."
He added that his request to stay the sentence pending an appeal was rejected by magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir, despite the prosecution having no objections. Instead, a stay application will only be heard by the High Court here on Monday, forcing Umar to spend the weekend in prison, Syahredzan said.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!