Release Somyot Pruksakasemsuk Immediately

Prime Minister Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva

c/o Government House, Pitsanulok Road,

Dusit District, 10300, Bangkok

Thailand

Release Somyot Pruksakasemsuk Immediately

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is extremely concerned and calls upon you for the immediate release of Somyot Pruksakasemsuk who was arrested on 30th April 2011 and is currently being held at Klong Prem Central Prison, in Bangkok.

We understand that Somyot was arrested on a charge of defaming, insulting and threatening the King, Queen and heir apparent (Section112 of the Penal Code) a charge which he fully denies. He also was not aware that any arrest warrant had previously been issued and strongly denies any claim that he resisted arrest.

We are concerned about the current state of human rights and democracy in Thailand, where even peaceful and legal methods to express one’s views are suppressed and denied.

We believe that the country should move towards a genuine reconciliation in good faith and intention from all sides. Therefore any dissident voice should not be brutally suppressed, particularly prior to a national election. The arrest of Somyot for his peaceful activity will deter this process.

We further understand that the Criminal Court agreed with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to extend the detention of Somyot for another twelve days, something we believe to be an unacceptable abuse of Somyot’s human rights. Please urgently respond to this request for the immediate release of Somyot to allow him to organise his response to the charges against him.

Sincerely,

K. Arumugam

Chairperson

SUARAM

SINGAPORE TRADER ARRESTED UNDER THE ISA: RELEASE OR CHARGE HIM!

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA &
GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA

PRESS STATEMENT: 10 MAY 2011

SINGAPORE TRADER ARRESTED UNDER THE ISA: RELEASE OR CHARGE HIM!

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) express its protest and disappointment over the latest arrest of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad (60 years old) alleged suspicion of channeling funds and providing logistic support to a militant group in Southern Philippines and to be linked to the Islamic militant group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The police arrested him on the 6th of May 2011.

GMI and SUARAM strongly condemn the new arrest under the ISA. This year alone, 5 people including Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad has been arrested under the ISA.
According to the police they have keep an eye on Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad since he has been moved to Malaysia two years ago. We would like to know why the government invoked ISA against him now? If the police already have enough evidence against Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad, why they never charge him in court? Seems the government and the police continuously looking for more and more labels and victims to justify the existence and usage of the ISA.
We are very concern about the condition and safety of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad. We urge the Government to allow the lawyers and the family to visit Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad immediately! We also would like to invite the family of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad to contact GMI and SUARAM and fight for the Abdul Majid’s rights.

GMI & SUARAM views that the usage of ISA against Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad are against the fundamental principles of human rights, justice and international human rights standards and pose and inherent danger of abuse of power particularly in terms of torture or cruel and degrading treatment of detainee.

GMI and SUARAM values that the security of the country is of utmost importance but one’s entitlement to a fair trial should not be deprived on any basis.

We strongly criticize the Government for practicing double standards on issues related to ISA. On one hand, it plans to review the ISA but on the other hand, new detention is carried out discreetly as no prior announcements were made. This incident exhibits that the ISA, is an arbitrary law and has been abused in the pretext of national security for political reasons. We urge the government to charge the said detainee in an open court; otherwise, he should be released without any delay and unconditionally.

Abolish the ISA!!!
Release all ISA detainees!!!
Close KEMTA!!!

Released by,

Nalini.E
GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator

PRESS STATEMENT: 9 May 2011 Asylum-Seekers trapped under poor human rights treatments in Malaysia

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA

Address: 433A, Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah,

46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +6 03 7784 3525

Fax: +6 03 7784 3526

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.suaram.net

PRESS STATEMENT: 9 May 2011
Asylum-Seekers trapped under poor human rights treatments in Malaysia

Malaysia will be housing more asylum-seekers under poor human rights treatment with the implementation of the agreement to send 800 asylum seekers (to Malaysia) who previously attempted to make their way to Australia by boats. The transfer deal announced by the Malaysian and Australian governments on 7 May, will see the 800 asylum seekers sent to Malaysia in exchange for resettlement of 1,000 registered refugees every year within four years to Australia.

This strategy undertaken by the Australian government to stop the flow of asylum seekers to its country via non-legal channels does not provide any solution to the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia. Even though the agreement will see the resettlement of 4,000 refugees from Malaysia to Australia, the agreement falls far from “burden sharing”, as mentioned by the Australian government. Instead, this move is more of a “burden transition” from Australia to Malaysia.

Malaysia already has an appalling track record of handling asylum seekers and refugees. As a state party to the 1951 Convention relating to Status of Refugees (1951 Convention), the Australian government is showing a bad example of treatment of asylum seekers and refugees to Malaysia and other states in the region that have not ratified the 1951 Convention.

This arrangement also does not take into account the realities and limitations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Malaysia. As of today, there remain thousands of asylum seekers waiting for indefinitely for their refugee status from the UNHCR. UNHCR does not have the administrative resources to effectively provide protection for refugees, including processing asylum claims as these are responsibilities that states should undertake. If the agreement takes place without any legislature and administrative reform for the recognition of refugee status and the protection of this group, it will bring greater pressure and desperation to asylum-seekers in Malaysia.

Apart from that, SUARAM is of the view that Australia has disregarded Malaysia’s record of poor treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and status as a non-state party to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. This joint agreement is “illegal” as Malaysian laws do not recognize both asylum-seekers and refugees but blanket them as “undocumented immigrants” and eligible to be charged under Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/63. Based on this, the Australian government is effectively violating the international customary law of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of people to places where they may face persecution or threats to their life or freedoms.

SUARAM is of the view that the first step to a “burden sharing” solution is for Australia to urge the Malaysian government to ratify the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol and/or at least to enact domestic laws to protect and promote the rights and security of asylum seekers and refugees. The Australian government cannot combat trafficking in persons with methods that disregard and violate the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

About 142 are state parties to the both instruments, but Malaysia remains reluctant to accede it. This year (2011) marks the 60thanniversary of the 1951 Convention and it is the right time for Malaysia to accede the instruments.

SUARAM demands that the Malaysian government immediately accede the convention and protocol in order to improve and demonstrate its commitment in human rights issues. Ratifying and implementing the 1951 Convention will go a long way in the management of asylum seekers and refugees in the country.

Released by,

Andika Ab. Wahab

Refugee Coordinator

SUARAM

142 ARE STATE PARTIES. IT IS TIME FOR MALAYSIA!

SUARAM will be organizing a launch event on our campaign “142 ARE STATE PARTIES. IT IS TIME FOR MALAYSIA!” in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 convention this year.

The launching event will be held:

Date : 8 May 2011 (Sunday)
Place : Annexe Gallery (Central Market, Kuala Lumpur)
Time : 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Objectives of the campaign are:

 To remind the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 convention and to urge government to accede the both 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol
 To urge government to establish domestic act and to protect and promote the rights of refugees, in particular, child and woman refugees, under the both conventions namely the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination and Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
 To widen awareness on the life and challenges of refugees living in Malaysia

Event is open to public!!!

For more details:

Contact refugee-desk SUARAM, Andika Wahab, 0163723699 or email to [email protected]

What is the 1951 Convention?

The Convention is the only international agreement covering the most important aspects of a refugee’s life. According to its terms, refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country and, in many cases, the same treatment as nationals. The Convention also recognizes the international scope of the refugee phenomenon and the importance of burden sharing in trying to resolve it, and helps promote international solidarity and cooperation.

Year 2011 marks the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention

28 July 2011 marks the 60-year anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees. About 142 states had acceded the both convention and protocol since its establishment, but Malaysia is yet reluctant to accede the instruments.

142 are state parties: It is time for Malaysia!

Why Malaysian government should accede both the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol?

To provide legal protection and promotion of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in accordance with internationally recognized legal and humanitarian standards.
To keep Malaysia’s positive image on the human rights issues in an international arena
To avoid conflict and/or friction between origin and hosting government over refugee questions
To demonstrate the Malaysian government’s commitment and willingness for “burden sharing” in handling global issues
To establish refugee’s effective administration and cooperation with UNHCR
To improve immigration detention centre’s capacity and treatments
To support the lack of human resource in various domestic sectors in Malaysia

RSVP to: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111562645595870