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Married Couple Sues JAWI After Being Wrongfully Arrested in Embarrassing Khalwat Raid

Despite producing authentic legal documents, JAWI officers were still keen on detaining them.

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Married Couple Sues JAWI After Being Wrongfully Arrested in Embarrassing Khalwat Raid
Image: Ida Lim
What was supposed to be a good night’s sleep for husband and wife duo, Mohd Ridhuan Giman, 34; and Siti Sarah Maulad Abdullah, 26, turned into a nightmare after the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) turned up at their hotel door. The couple was arrested on the basis of khalwat at a budget hotel room in Kuala Lumpur on January 8th around 1.30am according to The Malay Mail Online.

They are now suing JAWI for wrongfully raiding and arresting them during the traumatising stint. According to their lawyer Yusfarizal Yussoff, officers from JAWI, consisting of seven male officers and one female officer, had raided the couple’s room.

Here are seven important details regarding the incident that led to the lawsuit:

#1 The raid caused a scuffle after the male officers had forcefully entered their room despite being told by Mohd Ridhuan that her wife was dressed inappropriately. Ridhuan’s neck was injured during the struggle.  

#2 The husband repeatedly explained that they were married and produced a photo of their marriage certificate but was bluntly dismissed by the officers.

#3 The male officers instructed the wife, who was only clad in singlet and shorts, to get dressed in front of all of the officers who were present. One of them kept on filming and taking photos throughout the whole ordeal.

#4 The husband was taken to the lobby and the wife protested the presence of the male officers and requested some privacy to get dressed. She tried closing the bedroom door to protect her dignity but the door was forcefully pushed by one of the officers, who also allegedly pushed her chest. The scuffle resulted in a bruise on her arm.

#5 The couple was then brought to JAWI’s office and detained in separate rooms for an hour. The husband’s mother arrived and produced the actual marriage certificate, which was, ironically, issued by JAWI, but it was also turned down. Authorities still refused to release the couple.

#6 JAWI enforcers forced the mother to sign a personal bond that will allow the couple to be released, on the condition that they return for an investigation on January 17th. If the couple fails to show up, they will be forced to pay RM3,000.

#7 The mother initially refused to sign the bond as she had produced authentic legal documents and believed that no khalwat was committed but was later forced to sign it anyway if she wanted her son and daughter-in-law to be freed.

The couple and mum are now filing a lawsuit against JAWI for wrongful arrest, wrongful confinement, trespass to person, violation of privacy, tort of abuse of office and violation of the duo’s rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement under the Federal Constitution's Articles 5 and 9.

Those who were identified in the lawsuit are two JAWI officers – Mohd Shiham Ramli and Mohammad Izehar Md Amin; JAWI chief religious enforcement officer, JAWI director-general, JAWI, the Prime Minister’s Department and the government of Malaysia.
 
 
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