11 Malaysian NGOs: Police Violence in Hong Kong Condemned

We, the Malaysian civil society organizations, in solidarity with the Hong Kong people on this occasion of the International Human Rights Day, write to condemn the recent spike in violence against peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong. We call upon the Hong Kong Government to respect the right to freedom of expression, assembly and democracy of the Hong Kong people.

As violence has escalated in the last two weeks, police have increased their use of excessive force, in particularly, through the widespread use of batons, tear gas and concentrated pepper spray on 29 and 30 November to remove protesters from around Lung Wo Road. These clashes resulted in approximately 40 people being sent to hospital and left many others temporarily blind or vomiting. Such excessive and dangerous force used against peaceful protesters is in breach of international human rights standards.

The violence which followed the removal of the encampment in Mong Kok and the use of triads and paid “anti-demonstrators” to harass, abuse, and attack the peaceful protesters are deeply worrying and should not be tolerated in any circumstances. Additionally, the physical violence used against student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum during their arrests in Mong Kok is particularly of grave concern.

There have also been instances where police removed their identification numbers and interfered with media coverage of their attacks on protesters. Police have also resorted to arresting journalists, such as Wong Chun-Lung, as part of their attempts to hide their human rights violations. This removal of identification numbers shows a clear intention of the authorities to use excessive force and to ensure that their brutality would not be recorded. This is evident in the numerous video footages showing police hitting bystanders using excessive force. That incidences like these are well attested to, including by observers from Amnesty International, suggests a serious and widespread problem among law enforcement.

We further condemn the signals being sent down from those in leadership positions, including the Chief Executive Leung Chung-Ying who has encouraged police to take “resolute action” and has warned that “people have mistaken the police’s tolerance for weakness.” The Chief Executive should be reminded that a democratic government is elected to serve the people and not to oppress.

We, demand the Government of Hong Kong to ensure the rights of the protesters to assembly and expression are upheld and protected, and that the police show the utmost restraint in their interactions with the pro-democracy protesters. Finally, we call for the demands of the protesters to be met and for the guarantee of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

Endorsees:

  1. Academic Committee of LLG Cultural Development Center
  2. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
  3. Civil Rights Committee of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
  4. Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS)
  5. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
  6. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
  7. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  8. Solidarity for Civil Rights in China (SCRC)
  9. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  10. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  11. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Bawa Ke Muka Pengadilan Polis Yang Terlibat Dalam Kematian Dalam Tahanan Syed Mohd Azlan

Pada 4 November 2014 yang lepas, seorang lagi mangsa telah mati dalam tahanan iaitu Syed Mohd Azlan. Sejak awal tahun sehingga bulan November 2014, kematian dalam tahanan polis sudah mencatatkan seramai 13 orang kesemuanya.

Tindakan Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Johor, Datuk Hasnan Hassan mengatakan bahawa kematian ini berlaku secara tiba-tiba adalah sesuatu yang tidak masuk akal dan tidak berintegriti. Dalam sijil kematian yang dikeluarkan oleh Hospital Sultan Ismail tertulis si mati mati disebabkan oleh hentakan benda tumpul di dada dan bukan mati secara tiba-tiba.

Tindakan pihak polis menyembunyikan kematian Syed Mohd Azlan daripada pengetahuan keluarganya telah menunjukkan seperti ada sesuatu perkara yang ingin disembunyikan. Ayah si mati telah dihalang oleh pihak polis untuk beliau berjumpa dengan anaknya. Si mati diumumkan mati oleh pihak hospital pada 7.30 am dan ayahnya, Syed Mohamad Nur hanya dimaklumkan kematian anaknya pada jam 1.00 pm.

Syed Mohd Azlan telah ditahan kerana dikatakan memiliki senjata api tetapi bagaimanapun pihak polis tidak menjumpai sebarang senjata api di dalam rumah si mati. Semasa penangkapan berlaku pihak polis mengesahkan berlaku pergelutan antara pihak polis dengan si mati dan mereka telah mengalami kecederaan. Tertanya pihak polis sungguh tidak bertanggungjawab apabila tidak menyediakan hak perubatan terhadap si mati walaupun mangsa telah mengalami kecederaan semasa penahanan dilakukan.

Tindakan pihak polis yang mengugut ayah si mati dengan menghempas pistol dan gari semasa soal siasat dijalankan di Balai Polis Sungai Renggit, Pengerang, Johor dan mengugut beliau mengaku memiliki senjata api secara haram adalah sesuatu tindakan yang tidak beretika dan salah dari segi undang-undang. Pihak polis sewajarnya melakukan siasatan beradasarkan bukti-bukti dengan penuh integriti dan bukan dengan memaksa yang disoal siasat mengaku perkara yang tidak dilakukannya.

SUARAM menggesa pihak yang bertanggungjawab ke atas kematian ini dibawa ke muka pengadilan. Pihak polis juga perlu menjawab dengan telus terhadap kesan lebam dan tanda tusukan yang ada pada badan di si mati. Ini menunjukkan mungkin berlakunya kekerasan pihak polis terhadap si mati. Pihak polis tidak boleh melarikan diri dengan mengklasifikasikan kematian ini sebagai kematian yang mengejut tetapi perlu bersedia membawa anggotanya yang terlibat ke muka pengadilan. Bagaimana seseorang yang muda dan sihat tiba-tiba mati selepas ditangkap oleh polis?

Kes kematian dalam penahanan polis telah banyak berlaku setiap tahun tetapi tiada tindakan tegas daripada kerajaan untuk mencegah ia berlaku lagi. Salah satu masalah yang paling besar adalah tiada satu badan yang bebas untuk memantau tugas polis dan mengambil tindakan terhadap polis yang menyalahguna kuasa mereka. Setelah 9 tahun Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salah Laku Polis (IPCMC) dicadangkan oleh Suruhanjaya Diraja Penambahbaikan Perjalanan dan Pengurusan Polis ianya masih tidak dilaksanakan. SUARAM menggesa kerajaan agar IPCMC dilaksanakan supaya setiap kes kematian dalam tahanan dapat diuruskan dengan telus dan adil.

Suaram mengesa satu inkues dijalankan dengan segera ke atas kes kematian Syed Mohd Azlan untuk menentukan sebab kematian beliau. Jikalau didapati terdapat pegawai-pegawai polis yang telah menggunakan kekerasan untuk menyeksa beliau semasa dalam tahanan polis, maka pegawai-pegawai polis yang terlibat perlu dituduh dan dihukum ke atas jenayah yang mereka lakukan.

Kami menyeru pihak kerajaan meratifikasikan Konvensi Antarabangsa Menentang Penyeksaan oleh Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu dengan segera dan menggubal undang-undang untuk mengharamkan penyeksaan.

Untuk maklumat lanjut dan sebarang pertanyaan hubungi:

1.       Mr. Yap Swee Seng, Pengarah Eksekutif, +60122015272 atau [email protected]

2.       Mr. Tarmizi Anuwar, Koordinator Program Hak kepada Keadilan, +60136848313 atau [email protected]

BERI HAK KELUARGA MELAKUKAN BEDAH SIASAT KEDUA KE ATAS SEBASTIAN JOSEPH

Suaram menggesa supaya mahkamah memberikan kebenaran kepada keluarga lewat Dr. Sebastian Joseph hak untuk melakukan bedah siasat kali kedua. Dr. Joseph Sebastian yang berumur 30 tahun (ketika mati) merupakan seorang pegawai perubatan di Langkawi yang telah mati pada 15 November 2010 di dalam rumahnya dengan klasifikasi dalam sijil kematian “unascertained” atau tidak diketahui.

Suaram amat kesal bahawa walaupun kematian telah berlaku pada bulan November 2010 dan bedah siasat dilakukan sehari selepasnya, laporan bedah siasat hanya dikeluarkan selepas lima bulan iaitu bertarikh 8 Mac 2011 oleh Hospital Langkawi. Bagaimanapun, Kalliegan Anthony yang merupakan adik si mati mengatakan bahawa hanya pada bulan April 2011 barulah mereka mendapat laporan bedah siasat berkaitan kematian abangnya. Kelewatan dalam pengeluaran laopran bedah siasat ini hanya mengundang kecurigaan orang ramai samada terdapat usaha menutup sebab kematian Dr. Sebastian Joseph yang sebenar.

Adakah juga menakjubkan bahawa pihak keluarga Dr. Sebastian Joseph belum lagi diberitahu status siasatan ke atas kes ini walaupun 4 tahun sudah berlalu. Setiap kali pihak keluarga bertanyakan perkembangan terkini kepada pihak polis setiap kali itu mereka menyatakan memerlukan masa. Berkali-kali pihak keluarga hanya mendapat alasan yang sama seperti tiada apa-apa tindakan yang diambil oleh pihak polis.

Berdasarkan perjumpaan dan perbincangan Suaram bersama ahli keluarga si mati, mereka menyatakan bahawa terdapat perkara yang menimbulkan syahwasangka dengan sebab kematian seperti dinyatakan dalam sijil kematian. Ahli keluarga juga percaya bahawa kematian yang berlaku tidak terjadi dengan tiba-tiba kerana si mati dijumpai dalam keadaan melutut dan kedua-dua tangannya tergenggam.

Si ibu menyatakan bahawa anaknya tidak mempunyai sebarang rekod masalah kesihatan dan merupakan seorang yang sihat. Laporan Jabatan Kimia Malaysia (Pulau Pinang) bertarikh 7 Januari 2011 menunjukkan bahawa si mati bebas daripada sebarang pengaruh dadah. Ahli keluarga juga mempersoalkan mengapa bedah siasat itu dilakukan oleh Dr. Muhamad Arif Mohamad Rasat yang merupakan bukan seorang pakar bedah tetapi hanya salah seorang pegawai perubatan biasa di Hospital Langkawi.

Peguam Visvanathan akan mewakili keluarga si mati di mahkamah bagi memohon kebenaran untuk bedah siasat kali kedua dilakukan oleh pakar bedah dari Australia bernama Dr. Richard Byron Collins. Perbicaraan akan dilakukan pada 2 Disember 2014 di Mahkamah Tinggi Alor Star, Kedah pada jam 9.00 pagi.

Untuk maklumat lanjut dan sebarang pertanyaan hubungi:

1.       Mr. Yap Swee Seng, Pengarah Eksekutif, +60122015272 atau [email protected]

2.       Mr. Tarmizi Anuwar, Koordinator Program Hak kepada Keadilan, +60136848313 atau [email protected]

[GHAH’S PRESS STATEMENT] Prime Minister Najib Razak should keep to his promises to abolish the Sedition Act

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) is deeply disturbed and outraged with Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cowardly decision to renege on his promise to abolish the Sedition Act and to ‘fortify and strengthen’ the Act instead.

The shocking increase in sedition charges and investigations in the past two years reaffirms the Prime Minister’s false reformist credentials and it is evident that his Administration is still reliant on the draconian and antiquated legislation to control and suppress democratic norms and legitimate dissent.

The Prime Minister must be reminded he had repeatedly promised to abolish the Sedition Act and he must be held accountable for his promises made to the Malaysian people.

The sudden decision to retain the Sedition Act to allegedly protect the sanctity of Islam and other religions and to address those calling for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak reeks of malice and bad faith, as the Act has been rampantly abused to charge politicians, activists and dissidents. This decision tightens the noose around freedom of speech and expression and makes clear what a bleak and undemocratic future we have under Najib’s Administration.

GHAH therefore calls on the Prime Minister to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and to be accountable to the Malaysian people for promises made to abolish the Sedition Act. There is no room for the Sedition Act in a democratic and modern Malaysia.

GHAH reiterates our demands that the Sedition Act must be abolished, all existing charges under the Act to be dropped and to release all those incarcerated under the Act and lastly, there shall be no replacement act with similar draconian provisions.

Home Ministry Should Reverse Decision on SAPA and Abolish Societies Act

SUARAM condemns the arbitrary declaration of the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (SAPA) as an illegal organization and demands that the Home Minister immediately and publicly reverse the decision. We further call for an end of the systematic and politicized intimidation and harassment of peaceful civil society organizations and movements in the country.

Once again, the Home Ministry is invoking the Societies Act arbitrarily to trample on the right to freedom of association of the people as it did to Bersih 2.0, SUARAM, the Coalition of NGOs involved in Universal Periodic Review (COMANGO) and Negara-ku.

On 14 November, the Home Ministry Secretary-General, Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff, declared SAPA illegal under Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966. Additionally, he ordered the Malaysian Insolvency Department to take control of SAPA’s bank accounts, assets, and properties. The Secretary General threatened that, “[t]hose responsible for carrying out any SAPA activities will be investigated and charged for committing an offence under Act 335, among them under Section 6(2) and 6(3), Section 42 and Section 48 of the Societies Act 1966 and Section 142 of the Penal Code.”

All these were done on the purported ground that SAPA is an organisation that carries out activities detrimental to the interests of the security of Malaysia and public order in the country.

Shockingly, SAPA were not even contacted by the Registrar of Society (ROS) before the public statement nor given official instructions in its aftermath. SAPA only learned about it being declared illegal from media reports despite being a registered association under the ROS.

SAPA only received the official notification letter from the Home Ministry on 20 November 2014.

Despite Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966 gives the Home Minister absolute discretion to declare any organization illegal, if in his opinion, it is operating for purposes that are harmful or contrary to the security, public order or morals of the nation, the Home Ministry should provide the right of reply to SAPA in answering the allegations leveled against them before making such an important decision.

And what activities of SAPA have been detrimental to the security and public order in the country? Was it because they carried out the campaign to review the position of Sarawak in Malaysia or because they have collected 20,000 signatures for the petition to the United Nations on the right to self determination of the Sarawak people?

SAPA has not resorted to violence and have exercised their right to freedom of expression and freedom of association as guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution in advocating their political opinions. There is really no ground to close down SAPA and the decision of the minister appears to be arbitrary and authoritarian in nature.

In a democracy, expression and campaigns for the right to self-determination is perfectly legitimate and will not be penalized. The recent referendum on the independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom is one good example. No one was penalized for advocating the independence of Scotland and the people were free to debate and vote on the issue.

The actions of the Home Ministry and the ROS in this case clearly illustrates how the absolute power and discretion given to the Home Minister in the Societies Act 1966 can be easily abused politically to silent legitimate criticism against the government, such as the failure of the federal government to abide by the Malaysian Agreement 1963 as advocated by SAPA.

Suaram calls on the government to respect the right to freedom of association and abolish the draconian and outdated Societies Act immediately.

 

Released by,

 

Yap Swee Seng

Executive Director