Peaceful Vigil Turns Ugly- Police arrested 18

 

Press Statement: 23rd May, 2012

 

Peaceful Vigil Turns Ugly- Police arrested 18

 

SUARAM records its strongest condemnation against the unlawful arrests of 18 individuals who stood in solidarity with Adam Adli in a candle light vigil outside Jinjang Remand Centre on the 22 May 2013. The demonstration of the State’s power and might with such vigor in the Adam Adli saga was clear it defied logic and reasons.

 

We believe the whole process of 5 days remand on Adam Adli is mala fide as the audio and video recordings of his speech as evidence is easily available on Internet. Why there was a need to remand this young activist for further 5 days in the name of investigation?

 

The quick response to arrest coupled with the sudden and convenient shift in investigations raised substantial conviction that the persecution was orchestrated to instil fear in legitimate dissenters. Staunch supporters gathered in solidarity on a nightly basis for Adam Adli since 18/5/2012. The crowd grew larger by the day and on 22/5/2012, with about 1,000 supporters, the police moved in and arrested 18 individuals, of whom 4 were women.

 

SUARAM denounces the arbitrary arrests made by the police in the guise of the unconstitutional Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. In this political motivated show of might, several detainees were physically assaulted by the police before being arrested. None of the detainees were allowed to exercise their fundamental right to counsel provided for under S28A of the Criminal Procedure Code and Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution.

 

Lawyers representing the detainees were unlawfully restricted and confined at the check-in gate and were not allowed to perform their duties to represent and provide advice to their clients. They were only allowed to meet their clients after a lengthy protest. The actions and/or inaction of the police amount to a wilful and unlawful obstruction of justice and fundamental rights of the detainees.

 

At around 2 o’clock in the early morning, all the detainees were released after their statements were taken, without the presence of their lawyers. SUARAM strongly condemns such deliberation to unlawfully detain the protesters according to the whims and fancies of top officials and questions the grounds of the arrests and detention of the peaceful supporters.

 

SUARAM denounces the State’s abusive display of power and might using the police and oppressive legislation. These forms of intimidation and harassment are highly unwarranted and oppressive. The victimization of peaceful dissenters grounded on the insecurities of the State is highly unacceptable and abominable.

 

Released by,

Thevarajan

Right to Justice

Dharmendran, Another Victim of Police Brutality

 

 

DHARMENDRAN, ANOTHER VICTIM OF POLICE BRUTALITY

 

SUARAM strongly condemns the police for causing the death of N. Dharmendran, on 21/5/2012. Dharmendran, 31, had on or about 11/5/2012 lodged a police report at Pudu Police Station in relation to a fight where he was reportedly alleged to be involved in. Subsequently, the deceased was arrested, detained and was remanded pending police investigation.

 

According to his widow, she was waiting for the deceased to be released on bail on 21/5/2012 but instead, she received a phone call from the police informing her of her husband’s death. It was reported that the post mortem would be conducted by Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s pathologist Dr Siew Sheue Feng who had in the past performed examination on alleged sodomy victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

 

SUARAM is gravely concerned on the injury marks on Dharmendran’s body and demands immediate response to the following:-

 

1.      Why were there staples on the deceased’s ears?;

2.      Who inflicted the bruises all over the deceased body?;

3.      What were the grounds considered by the Magistrate in allowing the police’s application for remand?; and

4.      The status of investigation on Dharmendran at the time of the application for remand and subsequently bail.

 

SUARAM demands IGP Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi to take responsibility over the death and announce to the public on when and what actions will be taken against the officers in charge of Dharmendran. SUARAM expects nothing short of transparency and independence of the police and the Home Ministry in this matter.

 

On this note, SUARAM strongly urge the following actions be taken immediately:-

 

 1.      An independent and transparent investigation on the officers in charge of Dharmendran;

 2.      The police to disclose the Daily Journal kept by the officer in charge of Dharmendran during the initial detention and remand period;

 3.      An urgent intervention from the Magistrate who had approved the remand application and further heard the bail application; and

 4.      The Attorney General to initiate proceedings against the officers in charge of Dharmendran.

 

For as long as the police are allowed to commit these hideous criminal offences with impunity, the police are not qualified boast and to make public announcements on the level of safety and security on the streets. In fact, the police should start focussing to improve the safety of suspects under police supervision and custody.

 

The speedy approach taken by the police in arresting peaceful dissenters should be equally, if not more vigorously applied to the officers in this case which had caused the life of Dharmendran. Without an independent mechanism to punish these blood thirsty officers, the public will see more fatalities in police custody, police shooting and spiralling corruption in the police force. SUARAM awaits the response from the IGP and the Home Minister.

 

Released by,

 

Thevarajan

Right to Justice

Memorandum Kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri, Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

 

 

Memorandum Kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri, Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Kami mewakili 31 organisasi Bukan Kerajaan di Malaysia yang terdiri dari Pertubuhan Hak Asasi Manusia, pertubuhan hak pekerja, komuniti masyarakat, kumpulan anak muda dan pelajar memandang serius penahanan bermotifkan politik yang dilakukan oleh pihak PDRM.  Kami menghantar memorandum ini dengan hasrat penahanan berunsur politik dihentikan dengan serta-merta dan hak rakyat berhimpun dan meluahkan pandangan seperti yang terjamin dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dihormati.
Hari ini, 22 May, adalah hari ke-4, Adam Adli Abd Halim berada dalam reman pihak polis di Pusat tahanan Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur. Aktivis muda ini sedang disiasat di bawah Akta Hasutan dan Kanun keseksaan(seksyen 124b)  hanya kerana menyuarakan pendapat untuk sebuah pilihanraya yang adil dan bersih di Malaysia.
Tindakan Polis dan Peguam Negara meminta reman sebanyak 5 hari adalah satu tindakan menghukum anak muda ini dan kami rasa bukan bertujuan untuk menjalankan satu siasatan yang adil. Jika apa yang diluahkan oleh Adam Adli adalah kononnya berunsurkan hasutan, maka rakaman audio dan video cukup untuk membuktikan kes di mahkamah dan tidak perlu untuk satu reman panjang. Namun nampaknya motif polis adalah untuk menghukum dan mengwujudkan suasana takut dikalangan rakyat.
Kami kecewa dengan tindakan polis membuat penahanan ini dan meminta Kementerian Dalam Negeri(KDN) menasihatkan pihak Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) bertindak neutral dan tidak melakukan tugas bermotifkan politik. Isu di mana ADUN Seri Setia Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad di hadapkan ke mahkamah untuk tuduhan di bawah Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012 turut memberi imej yang sama kepada rakyat.
Penahanan berterusan penganjur perhimpunan aman ini juga menjejaskan imej YAB Perdana menteri yang sebelum ini telah mengatakan beliau melakukan transformasi politik dimana hak rakyat untuk bersuara akan dihormati.
Kerajaan harus menghormati hak bersuara dan  hak berhimpun oleh rakyat secara aman. Hak fundamental ini dijamin di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia. Tindakan menyekat kebebasan berhimpun dan bersuara adalah satu pencabulan hak asasi dan tidak lagi boleh diteima oleh rakyat dalam zaman moden dan bertamadum kini. Adalah juga suatu kenyataan kesemua perhimpunan yang berlangsung selepas PRU baik yang ada kebenaran polis ataupun yang tiada, semuanya berjalan secara aman, teratur dan tanpa sebarang ancaman kepada ketenteramana awam.
Kami organisasi yang menandatangani memorandum ini dengan ini mendesak YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, mengambil langkah yang bijak untuk meredakan kemarahan rakyat dan menghentikan penindasan politik ini dengan serta merta dan menuntut:
 
1. Adam Adli dibebaskan dengan sertamerta dan semua tuduhan keatas beliau digugurkan.
 
2. Hormati hak rakyat berhimpun dan meluahkan perasaan seperti hak yang dijamin dalam Perlembagaan Negara.
 
3. Hentikan sebarang penahanan bermotifkan politik.
Penggunaan undang-undang zalim keatas yang rakyat yang hanya mengamalkan hak-hak demokrasi mereka akan memberi imej buruk kepada PDRM dan Negara amnya. Kerajaan yang memerintah harus menjalankan tanggunjawab secara adil dan saksama dan pihak polis harus dibenarkan menjalankan tanggungjawab mereka secara profesional dan berlandaskan undang-undang.
Di sokong oleh:
1. Malaysian for Beng Hock
2. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
3. Community Development Centre (CDC)
4. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
5. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
6. Pusat KOMAS
7. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
8. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
9. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
10. Community Action Network (CAN)
11. Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
12. National Institute For Electoral Integrity (NIEI)
13. Civil Right Committee KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
14. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement
15. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
16. Legasi Mahasiswa Progresif (MMP)
17. Gabungan Mahasiswa Pantai Timur (GEMPUR)
18. Gabungan Mahasiswa UITM Malaysia (GAMUS)
19. Women section of KLSCAH
20. Persatuan Shing An KL & Selangor Women Section
21. Pertubuhan Pembangunan Wanita Malaysia PJ New Town Branch
22. Gerakan Menuntut Pendidikan Percuma (GMPP)
23. Education and Research Association for Consumers (ERA Consumer) Malaysia
24. Persatuan alumni PBTUSM KL & Selangor
25. Kelab Bangsar Utama
26. Tenaganita
27. Amnesty International Malaysia (AI)
28. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
29. Pemuda Dewan Perhimpunan China KL & Selangor (Pemuda KLSCAH)
30. Jawatankuasa Masyarakat Madani Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan Lim Lian Geok (LLG)
31. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor

Same Old Government, Same Old Ways

SAME OLD GOVERNMENT, SAME OLD WAYS

 

 

COMMENT by: SUARAM Team

 

The Broken Promise

Three years ago, Prime Minister Najib claimed that he had marked the herald to a new era with his promise to grant greater freedoms to the people. With a delicate balance on national security and fundamental freedoms of the people, he repealed the Internal Security Act 1960, three Emergency proclamations, Restricted Residence Act 1933, Banishment Act 1959 and reviewed the University and University Colleges Act 1971 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. However, in practice it appears to be merely a strive for political mileage as the fundamental freedoms of the people are still being denied by the government and its agencies.

 

The same can be seen in the 13th General Elections. On 5th May 2013, arguably the most ferocious General Elections in Malaysian history, Barisan Nasional was declared the victor and Najib was appointed as the Prime Minister for the first time. Many argued the outcome of the GE13 were marred with fraud, phantom voters, washable indelible ink, irregularities in the gazetted electoral roll and heightened political violence which saw bomb blasts at campaign sites and even a murder case throughout the campaign period. At the same time, various forms of harassment of human rights defenders took place.

 

 

The Herald of a New Era

Democracy flourished since the birth of social media and critical alternative news portal. With the luxury came the awareness of the people on current issues in the country. The Election Commission’s findings were indicative, if not evident of the fact that the voters turnout for the GE13 was tremendous and a true sign of democracy.

 

Many photographic and video evidence indicating electoral irregularities were available on the cyberspace and countless reports and complaints were made to the police against the EC for the lack of professionalism and integrity in ensuring a free and fair election.

 

The overwhelming dissatisfaction against the EC, coupled with the betrayal of the sanctity of voters’ free will culminated to massive protests against the serious problems plaguing the outcome of the GE13.

 

 

Concerted Actions to Quell Legitimate Dissent

There was least to the public’s imagination that the Police, the Registrar of Society and the EC were independent and impartial from what had been demonstrated during the GE13.

 

The RoS, which had harassed SUARAM for seven months before ceasing following a Judicial Review in the High Court was commissioned again to harass the Democratic Action Party at the eleventh hour prior to GE13 nomination day. DAP’s eligibility and qualification to contest in the GE13 were threatened, and even more absurd, ridiculous tasks were given at the very last minute with a tight deadline.

 

Serious matters which require immediate attention to were kept in view by the police. These include the death by murder of Murugan, a Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s campaigner, several bomb blasts at campaign sites, countless reports and complaints made to the police against the EC, seditious “Chinese Tsunami” statements made by Ministers and the investigation on Utusan Malaysia’s “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu” (“What else do the Chinese want?”) headline, the racist group attacks on anti-racism student group in Penang, and the investigation on bloggers Papagomo and MiloSuam, just to name a few.

 

Instead of immediately responding to the cases, the focus was directed to harassing human rights defenders. The concerted actions taken by the government and its agencies in encroaching into the people’s democratic space flew in the face of Najib and his promises. The civil service was perverted before and still is after all these years. As repeatedly stated by SUARAM on many occasions, governments may come and go but the civil service remains impartial at all times and should never act on political instructions from the government.

 

 

The Use of Regressive Legislations

Regressive legislations such as the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the Sedition Act 1948 and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 were used/threatened to be used against human rights defenders pre and post GE13. Prior to the election, threats of political instability and racial riots similar to the May 13 were used to raise fear among the people should anything untoward takes place post GE13.

 

Several members of the opposition parties were questioned and charged for having allegedly organised/participated in illegal assemblies under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. The act which was rushed to passage without public consultation was used as a tool by government and its organs to quell legitimate dissent.

 

The Sedition Act 1948, dubbed irrelevant and as the stumbling block to freedom of expression was used, regardless of previous talks and initiatives by the government to repeal the law. Similar to the draconian ISA 1960, the act was used and defended until the last moment before any constructive steps are taken to repeal the act. The use of the Sedition Act on Batu MP Chua Tian Chang prior to GE13 and the latest arrest and detention of student activist, Adam Adli had proven just that.

 

The threat of possible use of the SOSMA 2012 against “rioters” during the GE13 were floating in the air like an imminent threat, until the government had to resort to a public statement to confirm that it will never be used for the purposes of GE13.

 

Perhaps, the statements made by the former IGP Ismail Omar who said that the police would still use the old ways to maintain public order, if they are appropriate despite the absence of ISA 1960 and the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1960 would ring a bell.

 

The new Inspector-General of Police and Home Minister’s comments were worrying for the people. Home Minister, Zahid Hamidi’s suggestions to revamp the Ministry were of SUARAM’s grave concern as the police would now join the ranks of army in training to reduce crime and to ensure public order. It was made public shortly after the present IGP Khalid Abu Bakar had complimented former IGP Ismail Omar’s Ops Daulat operation in Lahad Datu, Sabah. Instead of focussing on how to reduce fatalities of suspects in police lock-ups and fatal police shootings, the police would now undergo their training with the military in firearms related situations to combat crime.

 

 

Adding Salt to the Wound

Chairman of EC, Abdul Aziz had on few public occasions answered questions pertaining to the complaints raised by the voters in regard to vote rigging. However most of the answers were bare denials. As the body solely responsible for the operation of GE13, it did little to dismiss the damning allegations of electoral fraud.

 

With only bare denials and a promise to investigate the complaints thoroughly, the EC had failed to diffuse the tension among legitimate voters. If at all any actions were to be taken to prosecute peaceful and legitimate human rights defenders, it would be the sole responsibility of the EC to stop the police because the EC is solely responsible in creating the tension and disappointment among the voters.

 

Malaysians had matured and ready to embrace democracy in a legitimate and peaceful manner. On this note, SUARAM calls upon the government and its agencies to cease all forms of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders. SUARAM beseech that constructive steps be taken to end the various investigations and release the results to the public. The damage to the sanctity of the voter’s choice and free will had already been done but adding salt to the wounds is definitely not the way forward.

SUARAM Urgent Appeal: Release Student Activist Adam Adli Immediately and Unconditionally

 

SUARAM URGENT APPEAL:

RELEASE STUDENT ACTIVIST ADAM ADLI IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY

 

 

SUARAM requests your urgent intervention in the following detention of Mr Adam Adli, Student Activist from Malaysia. SUARAM is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

Brief description of the situation:

SUARAM  condemns the arbitrary and unlawful detention of  Student Activist, Adam Adli under the  Section 4 of the Sedition Act[1]   which  prohibiting discourse deemed as seditious  and if found guilty under the act, Adam could be jailed for up to three years, fined not more than RM 5,000, or both.

 

 

Student activist Adam Adli was arrested in Bangsar on 18 May 2013 by ten plainclothes police officers around 3.15pm on 18 May 2013. He is believed to be arrested over the remarks he made during a post-election forum organised by Suara Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) on 13 May 2013 at Kl/Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur. During the forum, Adam had joined several other anti-government NGOs in calling for a massive street rally to express unhappiness over the fraud that happened related to electoral process in the country during the 13th General election that was held on 5th May 2013.

 

He was immediately were brought to Jinjang police remand centre. He is currently being kept in lock up. This acts by police to put Adam immediately into lock up clearly shows that, police has no intention to do further investigation rather they has made decision to hold Adam Adli arbitrarily . Adam is believed to be remand on 19 May 2013.
SUARAM condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against Adam Adli which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his peaceful activities and his freedom of expression in the framework of the campaign against the frauds that happened during General election.

SUARAM urge the police to show respect of the people’s freedom of expression and release Adam Adli immediately.  The police have started their hunting since post-election. All this harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders must stop now.

 

Malaysia has already an atrocious international record on democracy and human rights and it should not join the ranks of rogue countries universally regarded as most notorious and infamous for their reckless disregard for the most basic human rights – human dignity and life.

 

Released by,

 

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

SUARAM

 

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Malaysia, urging them to:
i.               Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Adam Adli as well as of all human rights defenders in Malaysia;

ii.              Release Adam Adli immediately and unconditionally since his detention is arbitrary as it seems to merely sanction his human rights activities;

iii.            Put an end to acts of any harassment – including at the judicial level – against Adam Adli as well as against all human rights defenders in Malaysia;

 

iv.      Abolish Sedition Act 1948 which against human rights principles;

v.             Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its:
–        Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;
–        Article 6(a), which foresees that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”;
–        Article 12.2 (“the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”);

vi.              More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments.

 

 

Addresses:

1.      Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,

Prime Minister of Malaysia,

Prime Minister’s Office,

Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,

Federal Government Administrative Centre,

62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA

Tel: 603-8888 8000

Fax: 603-8888 3444

E-Mail: [email protected]

Salutation: Dear Prime Minister of Malaysia

 

 

 

2. Datuk Zahid Hamidi
Ministry of Home Affairs
Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D
Pusat Pentadbiran
Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Fax : +60 3 8889 1613+60 3 8889 1610
Salutation: Dear Minister of Home Affairs

 

 

3. Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar,

IInspector General of Royal Malaysian Police

Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,

Bukit Aman,

50560 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 603-2266 2222
Fax: 603-2070 7500
E-Mail: [email protected]

Salutation: Dear Inspector General

 

4. Chairman/Secretary

Malaysian Human Rights Commission,

Level 11, Menara TH Perdana,

Jalan Sultan Ismail,

50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03 26125600

Fax: 03 26125620

 

 

5.        Mr. Frank La Rue
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: freedex@ohchr.or

 

6.       Ms. Margaret Sekaggya,

Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders,

Email: [email protected][email protected][email protected]

 

 

 

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken.

To contact SUARAM;

·     E-mail: [email protected]
·     Tel and fax SUARAM :  + 60377843525/ + 60377843526
 

 


[1] 4. (1) Any person who—


(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency; (b) utters any seditious words;
(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication; or (d) imports any seditious publication,shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both, and, for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; and any seditious publication found in the possession of the person or used in evidence at his trial shall be forfeited and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.