Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – A Malaysian court sentenced a student activist to 12 months imprisonment Friday under the controversial sedition law, his lawyer said.
Adam Adli Halim, 25, was convicted for questioning the results of the general elections last year during a forum in Kuala Lumpur, according to lawyer Latheefa Koya.
Adam was the second student activist convicted of sedition this month.
On September 5, Safwan Anang, 24, was found guilty by Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court after accusations that he encouraged people to topple the government during a rally last year.
Prosecutors have filed charges under the act against 14 political activists and members of the opposition over the past month, according to local human rights group Suaram.
Seven more people including a journalist are being investigated under the act, which Prime Minister Najib Razak promised to abolish as part of his reform agenda.
“The government’s Sedition Act onslaught against political activists is picking up steam, with Adam Adli the latest victim of this sustained assault against freedom of expression in Malaysia,” said Phil Robertson, a deputy director of Human Rights Watch.
“By throwing people in prison for political speech, Prime Minister Najib and his government are showing the kind of authoritarian tendencies one usually associates with single-party rule rather than democracy,” he said.
The 1948 act was implemented by British colonial rulers to stifle political dissent.