On 15 August 2011, parents of Blogger Mohd Nur Hanief Abdul Jalil, 27 were called in for questioning by the Malaysian Communication and Media Commission (MCMC) over a blog entry posted by Hanief on 1 March 2011. Hanief was arrested and questioned by the police under the Sedition Act 1948 on 18 March 2011. He was also questioned by the MCMC after his house was raided and two computers belonging to him and his father were confiscated.
Parents of Blogger Hanief, Abdul Jalil Ashaari, 61 and Kamalia Bint Chek, 60 were accompanied by two lawyers from Lawyers for Liberty, Farhana Binti Abdul Halim and Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri to MCMC Investigation Division office in Jalan Raja Kuala Lumpur at 2.30pm. Before the parents were taken in for questioning, a woman officer in charge of the case informed the lawyers that the presence of lawyers was not allowed during the questioning.
The lawyers then decided to have a brief meeting with Hanief’s parents before they were taken in for questioning. While discussion was ongoing, a woman officer instructed the security to disrupt the discussion between Hanief’s parents and their lawyers despite being informed that the lawyers were in the midst of giving legal advice to their clients.
The security tried to grab Hanief’s parents’ hands away from the lawyers in a rough manner. The lawyers protested and stated their objections to such highhandedness displayed by the MCMC officials in denying the right to legal counsel as enshrined under Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution and in disrespecting the duty of lawyers, being officers of the court who were merely discharging their statutory duties to their clients.
The continuing descent of various governmental agencies into lawlessness has been graphically demonstrated by the actions of the MCMC officials who blatantly denied the right to legal counsel by resorting to desperate and unbecoming move to disrupt communication between the lawyers and their clients. Lawyers for Liberty condemns the highhandedness of the behaviour of the MCMC officials in denying the basic right to legal counsel which is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
The lawyers were also informed by their clients that the questions posed by the MCMC officials were not relevant to the allegation leveled against Hanief .The questioning of Hanief’s parents by the MCMC is a form of harassment and intimidation.
16 August 2011