Stop Intimidating and Punishing Human Rights Defender

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!

In Solidarity,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

OPEN LETTER

Arjunaidi Mohamed
Ketua Polis Daerah Petaling Jaya
Ibupejabat Polis DaerahPetaling Jaya
Polis Diraja Malaysia
Petaling Jaya
Jalan Penchala
46050 Selangor
Tel: 03-79662222
Fax: 03-79548740
5 August 2010

Sir,

We are writing to you to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over the brutality and misuse of power by your personnel at the Anti ISA candlelight vigil on 1st August 2010 at Padang Timur MBPJ, Petaling Jaya. The candlelight vigil organised by Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)

On 1st August, 29 persons were arrested at around Amcorp Mall Petaling Jaya and IPD Petaling Jaya for exercising their right to assemble peacefully as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. As the Officer in Charge of Police District (OCPD) Petaling Jaya, your violent and heavy handed tactics in dispersing the peaceful assembly was highly unprofessional and uncalled for. Instead of acceding to the organisers’ request to negotiate terms for the vigil and providing time for the crowd to disperse peacefully, you ordered your officers to move in forcibly on the crowd which resulted in a situation of chaos and fear. In your arrogance, you even denied the legitimacy of the permit given by the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) to the organisers.

Violence was brutally deployed when your officers moved in to arrest participants of the vigil. Those arrested were shoved, beaten, slapped, dragged, choked and verbally abused by your police officers. Even women were not exempt from the violence. Such extreme use of violence was highly unnecessary as those arrested would have cooperated when informed that they were being arrested. You exercised your powers arbitrarily and as such, you are to be blamed for the human rights violations that occurred on that night.

In addition to that, we condemn your various intimidation tactics such as deploying water cannon trucks and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to frighten the good citizens who gathered outside the District Police Headquarters (IPD) Petaling Jaya in solidarity with those arrested. Vindictively, you also arrested another 3 individuals outside the IPD and deployed traffic police in the wee hours of the morning to summon the vehicles of those who were waiting outside the police station for the arrested to be released. However, we regard the intimidation of the highest order to be your action to compel the lawyers representing those arrested to give a separate witness statement. We condemn outright violation of the right to seek counsel and the rights of the lawyer when representing their clients.

Even though Section 27 of the Police Act provides police with arbitrary powers to allow or refuse permits for public gatherings, this provision is in contravention of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia which guarantees civil liberties with regards to the right to assembly and free speech.

As an OCPD, you should be ashamed of yourself for being a poor example as a leader to the younger and lower ranking police officers under your charge. As a member and leader of the police force, you should be setting an example to the officers under your charge by respecting fundamental human rights in your endeavours to protect the public from crimes. Contrary to this, you have shown not just your officers but the people of Malaysia that you exercise control over the public by inflicting fear and terror.

Due to the above, SUARAM demands that you publicly apologise to the participants of the candlelight vigil, those who were abused by your officers and the lawyers whom you have intimidated. We also urge you not to press charges against those who were arrested as they were merely exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble peacefully.

Like the activists and participants of the candlelight vigil, you are also a citizen of Malaysia. We believe that you would equally benefit from the preservation of the right to assembly and free speech that are essential in a democratic society.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Jemputan menghadiri kes perbicaraan inkues R.Gunasegaran

Kes R.Gunasegaran merupakan salah satu kes kematian dalam tahanan yang amat memerlukan pemerhatian daripada semua pihak masyarakat.

Pihak SUARAM ingin menjemput semua pihak untuk menghadiri perbicaraan inkues tersebut dan memberikan sokongan kepada ahli keluarga R.Gunasegaran yang berani berdepan untuk memperjuangkan keadilan dan hak asasi manusia daripada penindasan oleh pihak polis.

kami berharap kes ini mendapat liputan yang luas supaya mendapat perhatian daripada rakyat dan memberi tekanan kepada kerajaan untuk menubuhkan IPCMC ( Suruhanjaya Bebas Salahlaku dan Aduan Polis ) dan membuat reformasi terhadap institusi Polis Diraja Malaysia.

Latar belakang:

R.Gunasegaran (31 tahun) didapati mati dalam tahanan di Balai Polis Sentul pada hari bulan 16 Julai 2009 selepas 2 jam dia ditangkap oleh polis dalam satu operasi penangkapan penagihan dadah di sekitar kawasan Sentul.
Namun demikian,kakak Gunasaegaran yang bernama R.Ganga Gowri telah melaporkan kepada polis terhadap sebab tidak setuju kematian adiknya adalah berpunca daripada pengambilan dadah yang berlebihan dan dia mempercayai Gunasegaran pernah dipukul oleh pengawai polis sebelum dia meninggal dunia, dan kenyataan tersebut disetujui oleh beberapa orang saksi yang pada masa itu berada dalam lokap yang sama dengan adiknya, mereka menyatakan Gunasegaran dipukul oleh polis dengan menggunakan hos getah dan juga kayu.

“Memperjuangkan Hak Asasi Manusia!”

Yap Heng Lung

Penyelaras SUARAM