Malaysiakini NEWS

Student activist stopped from speaking at UIA

Alyaa Alhadjri  |  Published:  |  Modified:

An activist from student coalition Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia was prevented from speaking at the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) campus in Gombak about 2.30pm today.

Student activist Ashraff Nazrin Noor Azman from Universiti Malaysia Sabah Kampus Antarabangsa Labuan was the first to speak at the launch of KMM's Bersih 5 campus roadshow.

When contacted, KMM's chairperson Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof confirmed the incident and said that Ashraff had been taken in handcuffs to the Gombak police station.

"Ashraff was arrested because he was the first one to speak. He only managed to say Assalamualaikum.

"They (police) grabbed his microphone," she told Malaysiakini.

Anis Syafiqah added that no warning was given and that police were already on standby as they arrived at the campus this afternoon.

In a Facebook posting, she rallied students to gather in solidarity with Ashraff at the police station.

Malaysiakini understands that lawyer Allias Shaari is currently negotiating with the police, as more students gathered outside.

However, Gombak district police chief Ali Ahmad clarified later that the UIA security guards arrested Ashraff Nazrin and later handed him over to the police.

"He was sent to Gombak police station after prayer time. UIA has lodged a police report over this.

"We will look into the matter before we decide whether to charge or not. If he committed any offence, we will probe, if not he will be released," Ali told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Anis Syafiqah confirmed at 5pm that Ashraff Nazrin had been released.

This evening, Johor DAP publicity assistant secretary Sheikh Omar Ali criticised Ashraff's detention.

"It shows that UIA failed to cultivate an environment to educate students to be independent. Instead, it stops them from speaking for the people," he said.

Sheikh Omar noted that this was not the first incident involving UIA, adding that people such as law professor Abdul Aziz Bari and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli were also prevented from speaking there in the past.

This, he said, went against the freedom of speech as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

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