KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Police today released lawyer Eric Paulsen after remanding him for two days to probe his post on Twitter that accused a federal Islamic agency of extremism.
Paulsen, the executive director of Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), said he is being investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, adding that police will hand the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for them to decide whether to prosecute him.
He also confirmed he was arrested at around 9pm on Monday by between 15 and 20 policemen, and had his laptop and mobile phone confiscated.
Paulsen said he was initially scheduled to voluntarily show up for investigation today.
Last Friday, Paulsen posted on Twitter a remark on the Malaysian Islamic Development Department that allegedly read: “Jakim is promoting extremism every Friday. Govt needs to address that if serious about extremism in Malaysia.”
In a response last Saturday, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Paulsen together with DAP’s Kapar MP Ko Chung Sen will come for attention under the Sedition Act.
In his Twitter post, Khalid posted a picture of Paulsen with a text insert with the word “Biadap” (rude) in bold, red letters.
On Sunday, Paulsen retorted by questioning why Khalid initiated action against him and Ko based on demands from pro-Umno Internet users.
Paulsen is the first person this year to come for attention under the Sedition Act, following the government’s apparent crackdown last year on opposition politicians and civil society under the colonial-era law.
Today, Paulsen said he was not ill-treated while in police custody.
“I think the police were professional in terms of their treatment towards me but we maintain the arrest and detention was not necessary because, at all times, we were prepared to cooperate with the police,” he said.
He said the police took him back to his house to search for additional laptops, confirming that they had yet to return his seized phone and laptop and had sent them to the police forensics unit for further investigation.
Paulsen had previously lodged a police report over the death threats that he allegedly received due to his tweet.
-The Malaymail Online