Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is gravely concerned with the continued trend of investigation and harassment against human rights defenders by the Royal Malaysian Police.
Rama Ramanathan, a spokesperson for the Citizen Against Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), was recently called for investigation under Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for an article posted on the ‘Rest Stop Thoughts’ blog. The investigation is yet another attempt to intimidate and stymy the work of human rights defenders. Also, SUARAM has also been informed that nine individuals will be called for investigation for the World Habitat Day gathering on 8 October 2019.
Despite the repeated assurances that freedom of expression will be protected by Pakatan Harapan, the assurance has been nothing more than empty promises since Pakatan Harapan took over in May 2018. Pakatan Harapan’s failure to put a halt to the culture of impunity entrenched within the Royal Malaysian police and end the practice of harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders make them complicit with the action of the Royal Malaysian Police.
The investigations by the Royal Malaysian Police against human rights defenders are a waste of public resources which would be better spent to address crimes, tracking down Jho Low and finding the four individuals that have been disappeared.
The Minister of Home Affairs must no longer be allowed to hide behind the veil of his ministry and the cabinet and account for his consistent failure in reigning in the excesses and human rights violations perpetrated by the Royal Malaysian Police. If the Minister is unwilling or incapable of implementing the necessary reforms to put an end of the harassment against HRD and implement the necessary reform, the Minister should resign or be sacked from his position.