Hindu rights activist in Malaysia jailed for sedition

Singapore, June 5 (IANS) A Malaysian court has sentenced Indian-origin lawyer and Hindu rights activist P. Uthayakumar to 30 months in jail in a sedition case.

A sessions court in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur Wednesday sentenced P. Uthayakumar, 49, founder of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), to 30 months in jail for writing a seditious letter to former British prime minister Gordon Brown, media reports said.

Judge Ahmad Zamzami Mohammad Zain ruled that Uthayakumar could not offer reasonable doubt to defend himself.

The case relates to a 2007 incident in which Uthayakumar was charged with publishing an allegedly seditious letter to Brown, dated Nov 15, 2007, on the Police Watch Malaysia website.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(a) of Malaysia's Sedition Act, 1948, which upon conviction carries a penalty of a fine or three years in jail for the first offence.

According to the reports, Uthayakumar neither submitted anything to defend himself nor did he appeal for suspension of his sentence.

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