Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the widespread investigation and harassment against human rights defenders in the recent weeks and call for the immediate cessation of all unwarranted and absurd investigation against human rights defenders and political activists.Continue reading “Stop Harassment of Activists”
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemn the arrests and investigation under the Sedition Act 1948 by the Royal Malaysian Police and the deafening silence to the continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Pakatan Harapan administration.
The investigation and attempts to criminalize against alleged obscene or rude messages by individuals against the royal institution is a violation of freedom of expression and the Pakatan Harapan administration should not propagate and enable the culture of censorship and criminalization of expression that was practised by its predecessor.Continue reading “Promote Freedom of Expression, Not Sedition Act 1948”
Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate,
dear members of the IAP,
In the run-up to the annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Beijing, China, the undersigned civil society organisations urge the IAP to live up to its vision and bolster its efforts to preserve the integrity of the profession.
Increasingly, in many regions of the world, in clear breach of professional integrity and fair trial standards, public prosecutors use their powers to suppress critical voices.
In China, over the last two years, dozens of prominent lawyers, labour rights advocates and activists have been targeted by the prosecution service. Many remain behind bars, convicted or in prolonged detention for legal and peaceful activities protected by international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Azerbaijan is in the midst of a major crackdown on civil rights defenders, bloggers and journalists, imposing hefty sentences on fabricated charges in trials that make a mockery of justice. In Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey many prosecutors play an active role in the repression of human rights defenders, and in committing, covering up or condoning other grave human rights abuses.
Patterns of abusive practices by prosecutors in these and other countries ought to be of grave concern to the professional associations they belong to, such as the IAP. Upholding the rule of law and human rights is a key aspect of the profession of a prosecutor, as is certified by the IAP’s Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, that explicitly refer to the importance of observing and protecting the right to a fair trial and other human rights at all stages of work.
Maintaining the credibility of the profession should be a key concern for the IAP. This requires explicit steps by the IAP to introduce a meaningful human rights policy. Such steps will help to counter devaluation of ethical standards in the profession, revamp public trust in justice professionals and protect the organisation and its members from damaging reputational impact and allegations of whitewashing or complicity in human rights abuses.
For the second year in a row, civil society appeals to the IAP to honour its human rights responsibilities by introducing a tangible human rights policy. In particular:
We urge the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate to:
introduce human rights due diligence and compliance procedures for new and current members, including scope for complaint mechanisms with respect to institutional and individual members, making information public about its institutional members and creating openings for stakeholder engagement from the side of civil society and victims of human rights abuses.
We call on individual members of the IAP to:
raise the problem of a lack of human rights compliance mechanisms at the IAP and thoroughly discuss the human rights implications before making decisions about hosting IAP meetings;
identify relevant human rights concerns before travelling to IAP conferences and meetings and raise these issues with their counterparts from countries where politically-motivated prosecution and human rights abuses by prosecution authorities are reported by intergovernmental organisations and internationally renowned human rights groups.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asia Justice and Rights, Jakarta
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiang Mai
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong SAR
Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong SAR
Associazione Antigone, Rome
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Sofia
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, Hong Kong SAR
Civil Rights Defenders, Stockholm
Civil Society Institute, Yerevan
Citizen Watch, St. Petersburg
Destination Justice, Phnom Penh
Fair Trials, London
Federation of Equal Journalists, Almaty
Free Press Unlimited, Amsterdam
Front Line Defenders, Dublin
Foundation ADRA Poland, Wroclaw
German-Russian Exchange, Berlin
Gram Bharati Samiti, Jaipur
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Warsaw
Human Rights Club, Baku
Human Rights Matter, Berlin
Human Rights Now, Tokyo
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Budapest
IDP Women Association “Consent”, Tbilisi
Index on Censorship, London
Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Jerusalem
Jordan Transparency Center, Amman
Justiça Global, Rio de Janeiro
Kharkiv Regional Foundation Public Alternative, Kharkiv
Kosovo Center for Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption – KUND 16, Prishtina
Lawyers for Lawyers, Amsterdam
Lawyers for Liberty, Kuala Lumpur
League of Human Rights, Brno
Macedonian Helsinki Committee, Skopje
Masyarakat Pemantau Peradilan Indonesia (Mappi FH-UI), Depok
NGO “Aru ana“, Aktobe
Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization (PRWSWO), Bahawalpur
Pensamiento y Acción Social (PAS), Bogotá
Pen International, London
Protection International, Brussels
Protection Desk Colombia, alianza (OPI-PAS), Bogotá
Protection of Rights Without Borders, Yerevan
Public Association Dignity, Astana
Public Association “Our Right”, Kokshetau
Public Fund “Ar.Ruh.Hak”, Almaty
Public Fund “Ulagatty Zhanaya”, Almaty
Regional Center for Strategic Studies, Baku/ Tbilisi
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos
Stefan Batory Foundation, Warsaw
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Petaling Jaya
Transparency International EU Office, Brussels
Transparency International Hungary, Budapest
Transparency International Moldova, Chisinau
Transparency International Nederland, Amsterdam
Transparency International Romania, Bucharest
Transparency International Slovenia, Ljubljana
Transparency International Sverige, Stockholm
Transparency International UK, London
UNITED for Intercultural Action the European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants, refugees and minorities, Budapest
Villa Decius Association, Krakow
 As documented by a number of internationally renowned human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and the ICJ. See, for example, the HRW World Report 2017, China and Tibet, available at: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/china-and-tibet; China: call for action at UN on lawyers and other human rights defenders, available at: https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/UN-HRC34-China-JointLetter-Advocacy-2017.pdf.
 The Functioning of the Judicial System in Azerbaijan and its Impact on the Fair Trial of Human Rights Defenders, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Netherlands Helsinki Committee 2016, available at: http://www.defendersorviolators.info/judiciary-in-azerbaijan.
 See, for example: Human Rights and the Professional Responsibility of Judges and Prosecutors in the Work of CCJE and CCPE. Observations to the CCJE-CCPE Joint Report on “Challenges for Judicial Independence and Impartiality in the Member States of the Council of Europe”, Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights 2017, available at: https://www.nhc.nl/assets/uploads/2017/06/20170331-Observations-to-CCJE-CCPE-Report.pdf.
 Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors adopted by the International Association of Prosecutors on 23 April 1999.
 See, for example, Options for Promoting Human Rights Compliance by the International Association of Prosecutors, policy brief, October 2016
Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors
The Hague, 5 September 2017
For Immediate Release
21 February 2017
Conviction of Lena Hendry Another Blow to Freedom of Expression!
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) finds the decision to convict Lena Hendry by the magistrate court under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Board regrettable and flawed in nature.
The absence of adequate evidence led to Lena’s initial accquital was sound as there was a lack of evidence on part of the prosecution in their charges. The subsequent conviction of Lena on 21st February depart from this and utilized the flawed system in Malaysia which undo the presumption of innocence that serve as the foundation of any common law based criminal justice system. Convicting the defense based on their inability to prove beyond reasonable doubt of their innocence remains a blatant trangression against the right to fair trial and Lena’s conviction marks another injustice by the Malaysian criminal justice system.
On top of the manifest injustice in her conviction, the attempt to punish an individual for screening a documentary is reprehensible on many levels. A documentary is often made to serve as a historical record of an event that transpired and leaves a legacy or story that can be viewed by the future generations. Censoring or preventing documentaries from being screened does not protect the public but only serve to protect select groups by hiding an inconvinient truth and deprive future generations of important knowledge on history.
Furthermore an attempt to punish an individual for allegedly screening ‘No Fire Zone’ is contemptible to say the least as the act of preventing the screening tantamounts to protecting those who may have committed crime against humanity. if the Malaysian government seeks to protect others against genocide and crime against humanity, why is it now complicit in protecting those who may have commited crime against humanity.
SUARAM reiterate our strongest condemnation against the repression of freedom of expression by the Malaysian government and stand in solidarity with Lena Hendry in her fight for human rights and democracy!
For Immediate Release
11 January 2016
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the arrests of Sivarajan Arumugam, Silvarajah Erusam, Saiful Adli Jamian dan Mohd Afiq Bin Ayob under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for attending a candle light vigil in Johor Bahru.
As the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is in general a non-arrestable offence with power to arrest only in selected circumstances, the fact that some of them were arrested and detained overnight under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was a clear abuse of power by the authorities. Based on this fact, the arrests and detention of those attending the candlelight vigil for Khairul Nizam can only be interpreted as an unconscionable attempt to intimidate and punish human rights defenders! Such an attempt to normalize such intimidation and abuse of power must be rejected and condemned!
On this note, SUARAM reminds the Royal Malaysian Police regarding Government of Malaysia’s commitment to the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on Human Rights Defenders and our constitutional right to have peaceful assembly and demand the Royal Malaysian Police to cease with the campaign of intimidation against civil activists and stop the extrajudicial punishment!