Malaysia High Court strikes out rights group Lawyers for Libertys suit against Shanmugam: MHA

SINGAPORE: A Malaysian human rights group accusing Changi Prison of brutal execution had its proceedings against Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam struck out by the High Court of Malaysia last month, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday (Oct 1), calling the groups legal action “baseless”.

In January, the group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said it had filed a motion in the Kuala Lumpur High Court against Mr Shanmugam, following the issuance of a correction direction by the POFMA (Protection From Online Falsehoods And Manipulation Act) Office.



The civil suit, filed on Jan 24, sought a declaration from the High Court indicating that Mr Shanmugam cannot take action against Lawyers for Liberty in Malaysia under POFMA.

The group told reporters then that the order was “an attempt by Singapore to encroach upon or crackdown on freedom of speech in Malaysia”.

From left: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) Director Melissa Sasidaran, LFL Advisor N Surendran and their counsels Gurdial Singh Nijar and Ambiga Sreenevasan. (Photo: D Kanyakumari)

READ: Malaysian rights group Lawyers for Liberty files motion in KL High Court against Shanmugam over correction direction



Lawyers for Liberty never served its court papers on Mr Shanmugam, said MHA on Thursday.

“Instead, the papers subsequently expired and, for reasons which LFL did not make known, LFL discontinued its applications to renew the papers, and to serve them on the minister in Singapore,” said the ministry.

Lawyers for Libertys action was subsequently struck out by the High Court of Malaysia on Sep 21, MHA added.

“LFLs legal action was baseless, and that is shown by the fact it has now decided not to continue the legal action,” said MHA.

READ: Singapore invokes online falsehoods law against Malaysian rights group's 'preposterous' claims on execution methods


On Jan 16, Lawyers for Liberty released a press statement alleging brutal execution methods at Singapore's Changi Prison.

In its statement, it alleged that prison officers were instructed to "pull the rope around the neck of the prisoner towards him" and "kick the back of the neck of the prisoner with great force in order to break it", whenever the rope broke during a hanging.

MHA said in response on Jan 22 that the allegations were "entirely unfounded" as well "untrue, baseless and preposterous".

Lawyers for Liberty was subsequently issued a correction direction by the POFMA office, along with three other parties – Kirsten Hans Facebook post, an online article by The Online Citizen and a Facebook posRead More – Source


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