The authorities may have wrongfully detained a single mother under the draconian Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) over her alleged involvement in terrorism, the National Oversight & Whistleblowers Centre (NOW) said today.
NOW executive director Rafizi Ramli, who is also PKR’s Pandan MP, warned that the case of Jusninawati Abdul Ghani, a police officer who also runs an online business, could have been one of being at the wrong place with the wrong people.
“I am worried that society stigmatise those accused under Sosma and would conveniently conclude that they are terrorists,” Rafizi told reporters at the NOW office in Sungai Besi.
The press conference today was also attended by lawyers Saiful Izham Ramli and Nik Zarith Nik Moustpha, who have been defending pro bono several suspects accused of terrorism under Sosma.
Last month, Jusninawati, a police corporal, pleaded guilty to a charge of withholding information on terror activities, at the Petaling Jaya Magistrates Court.
The single mother of two was charged under Section 130M of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine, or both.
Jusninawati, who runs a Facebook-based online business, had gone to see her supplier in Kedah, where she posed for a photograph with others during a function.
One of those in the photograph is said to be a Sosma detainee. The police later arrested Jusninawati and several others seen in the photograph, including a 17-year-old.
Rafizi said that NOW laywers had visited Jusninawati who is being held at the Kajang Prison, adding that he feared any guilty plea by Jusninawati would lead to injustice.
“There were claims that she had not been allowed to wear the headscarf in prison, and we are investigating this with the authorities,” said Rafizi.
Meanwhile, lawyer Saiful Izham said the plight of Sosma detainees had been largely ignored by the public.
He said they approached NOW to seek its help to highlight concerns over abuse of powers under Sosma.