Freedom plea of jailed Malaysian Indian lawmaker rejected

February 18th, 2009 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 18 (IANS) Malaysia’s federal court has turned down the freedom plea of an Indian lawmaker belonging to a banned Hindu body and he will now have to complete his jail term that ends in December this year.
M. Manoharan Tuesday lost his habeas corpus plea that since he was elected Kota Alam Shah assemblyman last year while in detention, he could not be considered a threat to national security.

Alleging that Manoharan and four others have “terror links” particularly with Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the government has rejected all pleas for their freedom from political parties and human rights bodies.

“He failed to convince the Federal Court yesterday (Tuesday) that he should be freed to serve his constituents,” New Straits Times said Wednesday.

He will remain in the Kamunting detention camp to complete a two-year jail term under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) along with P. Uthayakumar, Vasasnth Kumar, Ganabati Rau and S. Kengadharan. The five have been in detention since Dec 13, 2007.

The five belong to the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). It is a proscribed body that claims to speak for Malaysia’s two million ethnic Indians - a bulk of them Tamil Hindus who came here during the British era.

Hindraf courted controversy when it staged a protest rally in November 2007 to highlight the perceived grievances of the Tamil Hindus.

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