Release 9 student activists arrested for demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic

URGENT APPEAL:  23rd January 2010

9 student activists arrested for demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic 

URGENT APPEAL:  23rd January 2010

9 student activists arrested for demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic 

 All together 9 persons were arrested by police for demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic.  

Those arrested were:

1.      Mohammad Za’im Mustapha

2.      Ahmad Shukri Kamaruddin

3.      Ahmad Syukri Abrazab

4.      Mohd Idris Bin Mohd Yussoff

5.      Mohd Fikhri Harun

6.      Muhammad Hilman Diham

7.      Syahriul Ismail

8.      Mohd Aizat Bin Mohd Salleh

9.      Mohd Ridhuan Bin Muhammad Jamil


Background

Solidarity Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) has organize a peacefully rally to express their demand on campus autonomy and freedom of academic from Dataran Merdeka and they have been arrested in front of SOGO. 

 Suaram strongly condemns this arbitrary arrest, abuse of powers and the gross human rights violations. That is not the way to stop the students from expressing their voice.

 We urge the police to release all the student activists immediately and unconditionally. We also demand that the police stop harassing the people from excising their rights to assembly and stop the assault on freedom of expression.

 Released By,

Lucas Yap Heng Lung

SUARAM  Coordinator

 

Urgent action needed:

Please write protest letters to the government and the police to express your strongest condemnation of the arrests and the ongoing denial of rights of expression. Please also demand the Malaysian government for the immediate and unconditional release the nine activists.

Your protest letters should be sent to:

 

1.District Police Officer:

   Supt.Hj. Mohd Khalil b. Kadir Mohd

   Officer in Charge of Station:

   C /Insp. Razali b. Mohd Tahir

   Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah

  Polis Diraja Malaysia

  Presint 7

  62520 Putrajaya

  Tel.: 03-8886 2222

  Fax: 03-8888 0249

 


2. Inspector-General of Police


Tan Sri Musa Hassan
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia ,
50560 Bukit Aman,
Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia .
Tel: +603 2262 6015
Fax: +603 2272 5613

3. 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]. my

SAMPLE LETTER

[Letterhead of your organization]

Prime Minister,

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,

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]. my

Dear Sir,

Release those
9 Individual arrested who demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic immediately
We are writing to you, once again, to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over your government’s ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression.

We are appalled by your government and the police’s latest actions and view this as yet another attempt by your government to intimidate Malaysian citizens from exercising their freedom to express their views.

We demand that the 9 individuals should be released immediately and unconditionally. We further demand that your government stops the assault on freedom of expression.

We strongly urge you, once again, to stop bringing shame to Malaysia, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. We would like to remind you that freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

Rights group slams KL for ‘more rhetoric than reality’

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia has failed to undertake systematic reforms to fulfil Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s oath of office in April 2009 promising to respect “the fundamental rights of the people,” Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2010.

The 612-page report, the New York-based organisation’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia has failed to undertake systematic reforms to fulfil Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s oath of office in April 2009 promising to respect “the fundamental rights of the people,” Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2010.

The 612-page report, the New York-based organisation’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.

In Malaysia, the report said, instead of addressing persistent human rights problems, the government harasses the political opposition; improperly restricts the rights to peaceful expression, association, and assembly; and mistreats migrants.

“The Malaysian government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage than safeguarding rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“In the hopes of maintaining control and power, the government has turned its back on its promises to protect people’s rights.”

The release of a number of detainees held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) early in Najib’s term was a positive development, Human Rights Watch said. But Parliament should repeal that and other repressive laws, including the Police Act 1967, which was most recently used to justify a violent crackdown on a citizens’ march against the ISA on Aug 1 last year.

It reported that security forces attacked the gathering with tear gas and water laced with chemicals fired from water cannon trucks, and arrested almost 600 people, including 44 children.

Human Rights Watch also criticised the government’s continuing heavy restrictions on freedom of expression, saying “The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 enables government officials to compel censorship of publications through control of printing and distribution licenses.

“More recently, Internet media and bloggers are coming under closer scrutiny as the government, cognisant of the Internet’s impact in the last general election, tries to rein in non-traditional media,” it added.

It also said Malaysian legislation failed to distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from other undocumented migrants and authorised Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (Rela), which it called “an ill-trained, abusive civilian force, to use its authority to enter living quarters and make arrests without search or arrest warrants”.

The HRW report said apprehended undocumented migrants are detained under inhumane conditions in immigration detention centres, where several migrants died during 2009 and dozens were sickened by leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal faeces in unclean water.

It also noted that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee produced a report alleging ties between Malaysian deportations and human trafficking gangs at the Malaysian-Thai border, where the lives of deportees were at risk if they could not pay ransoms.

“It is beyond understanding why the Malaysian government delays access to basic medical services for the thousands of migrants locked in cramped, dirty, and disease-ridden conditions,” Robertson said.

“How many more migrants have to die in detention before Malaysian policymakers wake up?”

The report also lamented that human rights defenders — such as lawyers, journalists, and members of non-governmental organisations — faced continued harassment and the possibility of arrest, especially if the government considered their work to be connected to opposition political parties.

It alleged that Malaysia also continued to violate human rights norms by criminalising adult consensual sexual behaviour, “as evidenced by the ongoing efforts to bring the parliamentary opposition leader, (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, to trial for alleged consensual sodomy in a case that many observers believe is politically motivated”.

“For a country that is so proud of its post-colonial political development, it is truly bizarre that the government continues to enforce an antiquated British colonial law against ‘sodomy’ by consenting adults,” said Robertson.

“It’s about time the government brought its criminal code into the 21st century.”

The report said that under pressure from the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC), the government made slight modifications to the law that established Suhakam, Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission.

“However, Suhakam remained hampered by its status as an advisory committee, without adequate independence for its commissioners or power to compel enforcement of its decisions,” the report said.

The major recommendations to Malaysia’s government in the Human Rights Watch report are:

  • Revoke the Internal Security Act and other arbitrary and preventive detention measures;
  • Rescind the Printing Presses and Publications Act, narrowing the definition of sedition and seditious tendency;
  • Amend the Police Act to provide for reasonable and negotiated conditions for assembly;
  • Abolish Rela and uphold the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

In addition, Human Rights Watch urged ratification of key international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

“During the early days of his government, Prime Minister Najib talked big on protecting human rights — but talk is cheap,” Robertson said. “If the government really believes in its 1 Malaysia campaign, then it should demonstrate real commitment to improving respect for the human rights of all Malaysians.”

Click here to read Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2010 chapter on Malaysia.

Abolish Emergency Ordinance and other detention without trial laws!

Suaram expresses disappointment and concern over the re-arrest of the three men under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Crime Prevention) at Muar yesterday. The trio, M. Nandakumar (43), M. Thirugnanam (33) and K. Jayaraman (56), were charged with the murder of businessman Datuk M. Gunasegaran. They were released by the High Court yesterday after the prosecution dropped the charges. However, the police re-arrested three of them under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) once they stepped out of the court room.

Suaram expresses disappointment and concern over the re-arrest of the three men under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Crime Prevention) at Muar yesterday. The trio, M. Nandakumar (43), M. Thirugnanam (33) and K. Jayaraman (56), were charged with the murder of businessman Datuk M. Gunasegaran. They were released by the High Court yesterday after the prosecution dropped the charges. However, the police re-arrested three of them under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) once they stepped out of the court room.

SUARAM condemns the re-arrest and the use of EO, the draconian legislation which provides for detention without trial, on the three individuals. The re-arrest of the detainees after being discharged by the court is an outright abuse of the system by the police and the government. The use of EO leaves those arrested with almost no recourse against wrongful arrest and detention. Worst still, the detainee will most likely face traumatic experiences in the first 60 days of a fresh detention under the EO and torturous process, a common occurrence amongst EO detainees previously encountered by Suaram. In the past years, Suaram has documented many allegations of flawed police investigations, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and confession under duress by the EO detainees.

SUARAM recognizes the responsibility of the Malaysian government to curb crime and to deal with criminals, gangs and syndicates. But the government should not resort to means that violates human rights such as the EO in efforts to address criminal activity. Unfortunately in Malaysia, EO has been frequently abused by the police and government to deal with suspects of petty crimes. This is an outright misuse of power by the police and the Home Ministry in dealing with the EO detainees, particularly when they have absolute power and their decision cannot be challenged in court. Detention of any individual without trial is a violation of fundamental human rights.

SUARAM urges the government to release M. Nandakumar, M. Thirugnanam and K. Jayaraman immediately and to charge them in court instead.

SUARAM also calls on the government to abolish the Emergency Ordinance and other detention without trial laws. Those held under these laws should be charged in court or released. In societies governed by the rule of law, those who are guilty or innocent of committing crime must be decided by a court of law guaranteeing international fair trial standards.

Released By,

 

Nalini.E

Detention without Trial Coordinator,

SUARAM