In bizarre case, Siti Kasim nabbed for ‘kidnapping’ client

Boo Su-Lyn
A screengrab from a Facebook video showing a policewoman who wanted to handcuff Siti Kasim at the Kajang district police headquarters on June 24, 2018.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Siti Kasim was arrested early this morning for kidnapping a woman whom the lawyer insisted she had rescued from the latter’s allegedly abusive mother.

The police allegedly broke down the door of Siti’s home last night and took the 24-year-old woman named Anis Nur Izzaty Ruslan into custody.

It is understood that Anis had been staying at Siti’s home since Thursday, after the lawyer went to Hospital Kajang to assist her.

The police, who accused Anis of having mental health issues, had allegedly taken her to the hospital by force.

When Siti and some others went to the Kajang district police headquarters to see Anis, the human rights lawyer was arrested instead under Section 363 of the Penal Code for kidnapping and under Section 186 for obstructing a public servant.

“They want to arrest me based on a police report made by the mother who claimed I kidnapped her daughter,” Siti said at the police station in a video posted on Facebook.

Anis immediately can be heard shouting from behind the closed door of an adjacent room: “That’s not true. Dia tak kidnap I. Itu tipu tipu!” (That’s not true. She didn’t kidnap me. Those are lies!)

Siti then yelled at a plainclothes policeman and threatened to sue the police for damaging her house, after which she was arrested. A policewoman even brought out a pair of handcuffs and only to put them away when Siti promised to cooperate.

“I’m trying to save a girl from her crazy mother, and yet, this is what you’re doing.

“Why did you raid my house? I can assure you this will get to the IGP (inspector-general of police). The so-called victim brought her aunts saying this is not true, she wants to see me as her lawyer,” said Siti in the video.

In another video posted on Facebook, two women who claimed to be Anis’ aunts alleged that the 24-year-old was mentally and physically abused by their sister.

“I’m thankful to Siti Kasim for getting her out of this,” said one of them.

The other woman, who identified herself as Anis’ aunt, accused her eldest sister of being a “very violent lady”.

“We have to save her daughter,” she said.

According to Sisters in Islam (SIS) programme manager Shareena Sheriff, Anis left her home in Putrajaya last January, where she was living with her mother.

After living in a shelter for a month, Anis managed to find a job in a legal firm and moved out of the shelter to live on her own.

“Unfortunately for her, the mother lodged police reports and told Jais that she’s mentally unstable and that her ‘aqidah’ (faith) is in question,” Siti wrote on Facebook on Thursday, referring to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).

Shareena said Jais summoned Anis on Thursday.

The religious authorities were accompanied by the police who took Anis to a hospital, claiming that the 24-year-old suffered from mental health issues.

A source, who requested anonymity, told Malay Mail that the hospital took Anis’ bodily fluids without her consent or a police warrant before Siti arrived at the hospital.

“Siti asked her if she wanted to stay or go with Siti. There was a scuffle between the police and her. She went with Siti and Siti brought her to her place,” said the source.

The source said that allegations concerning Anis’ mental health were unfounded, claiming that the woman’s mother had never sought psychiatric help.

Last night’s troubles began when the police entered Siti’s home and took Anis while the lawyer was away.

Faha Deva Arunasalam, who represented Siti, told Malay Mail at about 1.50am that that the police were recording Siti’s statement.

“They seem to now be cooperating with her,” he said.