After a show of online and on-ground solidarity, activist Sarah Irdina Mohammad Ariff has been released from police custody at about midnight today (30 July), after being questioned for 10 hours over allegations of sedition and improper use of network facilities over social media posts by youth-based group Misi Solidariti regarding the #Lawan movement.
Initially, she was supposed to be remanded for the night at Jinjang lock-up facility but at around 1 am, her lawyer, Goh Cia Yee tweeted that she has been released.
“Sarah’s just been released. Was present with Sarah today at the police station. Cracked some jokes to make her feel at ease but it was her first time being questioned by the police. My respect to her and her friends for the work they are doing,” Goh wrote.
Goh also brought up the show of solidarity by netizens as #FreeSarah trended on Twitter yesterday night when news broke regarding her arrest. Take a look at some of the tweets:
Besides that, a candle-lit vigil organised by PSM Youth was held outside the Jinjang police station in Sarah’s honour.
ICYMI, officers from Bukit Aman’s Prosecution and Law Division (D5) had arrested Sarah after questioning her at the Dang Wang district police station on 29 July.
According to Malaysiakini, police confiscated her mobile phone and raided her family’s home too. She was investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Sarah is the co-founder of Misi Solidariti, which describes itself as a “youth-led collective to empower society through the value of direct action in Malaysian activism”.
Aside from her, police also questioned three others over tomorrow’s #Lawan protest. All three were represented by legal counsel and none were arrested.
Despite these arrests and multiple rounds of police questioning, ad-hoc youth coalition Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) is going ahead with its #Lawan protest on 31 July. SSR said their goal remains the same – to call for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet to resign.
“We are facing the most failed government in our country’s history. Such a government will only understand the language of #Lawan (fight) and street demonstrations,” SSR said in a statement today.
SSR will be providing free legal aid to participants and even prepared guidelines for the protest which covers pre-protest concerns and prep, protests do’s and don’ts, safety and support, post-protest safety from Covid-19 and lastly, post-protest safety from police.
The protesters aim to march to Dataran Merdeka at 11am tomorrow. The assembly point will be at the intersection in front of Menara DBKL, between Dataran Merdeka and the Masjid Jamek LRT.
1/ ONE MORE DAY UNTIL WE KELUAR DAN #LAWAN 🏴
🚨 To ensure the protestors are safe this weekend – make sure you’re prepared and follow these guidelines for the event.
— MISI: Solidariti (@MSolidariti) July 30, 2021