Free Student Arrested for Social Media Posts


Target: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

Goal: Free student arrested after he criticized the government on social media

Ali Abdul Jalil, a student activist, has been arrested and held in Selangor state, Malaysia, after posting remarks critical of the Malaysian government on his social media page. His arrest violates his human right to freedom of expression, and his subsequent treatment in prison has violated international human rights standards. Sign the petition and demand that Jalil be freed and that those responsible for his mistreatment be brought to justice.

Freedom of expression is considered a universal human right, and Malaysia’s Sedition Act–the act under which Jalil was arrested–violates this right. Jalil has been arrested due to the peaceful expression of his political beliefs, which happen to be anti-sultanate. As a result, he is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

Since his initial arrest, Jalil has made bail, paying a fine of about $1,570 (US), only to be re-arrested. He faces three charges under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act. He could face up to three years in prison in addition to his fines.

During his time in custody, Jalil has been punched, slapped, and hit with a rubber pipe and a baton by an officer. He has also been verbally abused.

No prisoner should ever have to endure physical mistreatment, and no citizen should ever be arrested for peaceful expression of political beliefs. Sign the petition and call upon the Malaysian government to free Ali Abdul Jalil, bring those who have mistreated him to justice, and abolish the oppressive Sedition Act.


Your Excellency,

I am writing to urge you to free Ali Abdul Jalil, a student activist jailed solely for his peaceful acts of political expression. His detention constitutes a violation of his human rights, and his treatment in custody has only subjected him to further violations. Please ensure that he is humanely treated and freed immediately.

Jalil was arrested under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act after he posted comments critical of the sultanate on his social media account. His comments fall into the realm of peaceful political expression, which is a universally-recognized human right. He is a prisoner of conscience and ought to be released immediately.

In addition, Jalil’s treatment in custody has violated human rights restrictions on torture and physical punishment. He has been verbally abused as well as slapped, punched, and hit with a rubber pipe and a baton by an officer. All of these actions are clear violations of his rights.

I urge you to make the situation right. Free Ali Abdul Jalil, investigate his allegations of torture, and bring to justice those responsible. And, on a larger scale, I implore you to abolish the Sedition Act in favor of laws that respect Malaysian citizens’ right to freedom of expression.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Spencer E Holtaway vis Flickr

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