KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Police questioned activist Numan Afifi about an unidentified foreigner’s speech and not his own remarks during the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) summit in Geneva in March, his lawyer Honey Tan complained today.
While she stressed that she was not calling out the conduct of the investigating officer today, she said she was perplexed after being told the police were investigating the foreigner for sedition.
Numan’s role in the entire affair was to say if he knew the foreigner.
“We’re surprised they called us in for questioning for a foreigner’s speech, which they want to investigate under the Sedition Act.
“Even if you did feel the foreigner’s speech was seditious, how are you going to prosecute the foreigner under the Sedition Act? Our Malaysian criminal law doesn’t work like that,” she said before describing the whole exercise as a waste of time and public funds.
She pointed out that police resources could be better used for more pressing matters, such as the court-ordered retrieval of Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s daughter, who was abducted by her Muslim convert ex-husband.
Numan, formerly an aide to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, said the police showed him today a video of the foreigner, whom Numan identified as someone from the Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF).
However, he said he did not know the person and believed the only connection was a video circulating online of the person delivering a speech and with Numan somewhere in the background.
“It wasn’t concerning me so it felt a bit ridiculous,” Numan told Malay Mail.
“I have no idea who this person is, apart from the fact he’s from ADF, and I don’t think they had a problem with my speech,” he added.
Numan’s speech at UNHCR summit was regarding gender identity and sexual orientation under the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
He touched on issues like the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual (LGBT) people’s participation at the March 9th Women’s March, which triggered negative responses from Malaysian authorities.
After he had been called in for questioning, it was believed that he was being investigated over his own remarks at the UN.