Malaysian Blogger released on police bail

July 19, 2007

Update-Malaysia
18 July 2007
Source: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

Blogger released on police bail

On 17 July 2007, Malaysian authorities released blogger Nathaniel
Tan on police bail after his four-day remand expired.

However, Tan’s laptop and desktop computer, which were seized
during his 13 July arrest on suspicion of breaching Section 8 of
the Official Secrets Act (OSA), have not been returned to him.

Tan’s mother, Sukumari Chitty, told local communication rights
group Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) that he was treated
well in detention.

SEAPA remains concerned about the reason for Tan’s arrest and urges
the authorities to disclose the facts of the case against Tan, or
his arrest and detention will be seen as “unnecessary and an act of
intimidation”, as CIJ calls it.

While detained, Tan, who is also a webmaster of an opposition
party, was interrogated by the police over a link posted on his
blog ( http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?Nee14273He.8nMiJcVjlLQ ) that connects to an anonymous website
alleging Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum of
corruption. Johari has been cleared of the allegations. In
retaliation, he has ordered the police to trace those who spread
“lies” on the Internet about government leaders.

Tan’s lawyers are now seeking to revise the four-day remand order
as there were procedural irregularities. Tan disclosed after his
release that he was not told the reason for his arrest until he was
brought to court for remand proceedings on 14 July. His lawyers
were not notified of the proceedings and only found out about it by
a stroke of luck when a lawyer who was in court for another client
recognised Tan.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has set 13 August to hear the case for
the revision.

**Updates SEAPA alert of 16 July 2007
(http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?0rb5P1W8FLS0zwGxAZkBJg)**

————————————————————
Southeast Asian Press Alliance.
538/1 Samsen Rd., Dusit, Bangkok 10300.
Tel: 66-2-2435579, 66-2-2435373, Fax: 66-2-2448749

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