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

SUARAM Urge the Charges against Nik Nazmi to be Dropped Immediately and Unconditionally

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT: 17 MAY 2013

SUARAM Urge the Charges against Nik Nazmi to be Dropped Immediately and Unconditionally

 

SUARAM condemns the move by the police and the Attorney General to charge Seri Setia Assembly-person Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) today (17 May 2013) for failing to give 10 days’ notice to the police for the May 8 Blackout 505 rally in Kelana Jaya Stadium.

SUARAM views this selective prosecution against Nik Nazmi as arbitrary and politically motivated and raises serious questions about the political neutrality of the police. These charges also highlight the ongoing failure of this government to respect freedom of expression and assembly.
Nik Nazmi was charged at the Petaling Jaya sessions court before judge Rozina Ayob and has been released without bail. The offence under Section 9(1) of the PAA carries a fine up to RM10,000 upon conviction, and Nik Nazmi could be disqualified as an elected representative if the fine exceeds RM2,000.

SUARAM is against the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) as it curtails the fundamental freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. The right to freedom of assembly is an intrinsic part of the right to freedom of expression which is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international laws and standards.The Peaceful Assembly Act imposes a 10-day advance notice to authorities prior to holding an assembly. This is an onerous and unnecessary requirement intended to make it as difficult as possible for the people to convene any assembly.

In fact, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, Mr Maina Kiai in his report to the Human Rights Council in May 2012 has clearly stated that;

“Should the organizers fail to notify the authorities, the assembly should not be dissolved automatically and the organizers should not be subject to criminal sanctions, or administrative sanctions resulting in fines or imprisonment…[t]he Special Rapporteur holds as best practice legislation allowing the holding of spontaneous assemblies, which should be exempted from prior notification”
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session20/A-HRC-20-27_en.pdf

SUARAM urge the charges against Nik Nazmi to be dropped immediately and unconditionally.

If Prime Minister Najib Razak is sincere about making meaningful political reforms, these reforms must be made in the spirit of protecting and promoting human rights rights and fundamental freedoms.

Released by,

Nalini Elumalai
Executive Director
SUARAM

ALLOW THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND RESPECT THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

 

PRESS STATEMENT: 8 MAY 2013

 

ALLOW THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND RESPECT THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

SUARAM urges the Malaysian government to respect the fundamental right to peaceful assembly by allowing the opposition rally today at the Kelana Jaya Stadium. The rally is being held in response to allegations of election irregularities and fraud that happened on Election Day.

SUARAM also condemns the statement by the IGP Ismail Omar who stated that the rally is illegal (7 May 2013, an article in news portal Malaysiakini titled “Rally illegal, participants face arrest, warns IGP”). SUARAM‘s position is that there is no need for an application of a permit by the organizers which is in line with provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), .  As far as SUARAM is concerned, the organisers only need to notify to the police of the assembly.

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly is guaranteed in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Further, the right of every Malaysian to assemble peacefully without arms is also enshrined in the country’s highest law, the Federal Constitution.

SUARAM continues to call for abolishment of the Peaceful Assembly Act as many of the provisions in the Act contravenes international human rights standards and provides the police with excessive powers to restrict peaceful assemblies

As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Malaysia has made commitments on numerous occasions, in various international fora to protect human rights. If the government does not intend to make a mockery of its own international commitments, it must allow the rally to proceed without any disruption, and ensure that the police manage the rally in compliance with international human rights standards.

Released by,

 

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

SUARAM

End Harassment, Threat and Intimidation against Student Activists

PRESS STATEMENT: 16 FEBRUARY 2013

End Harassment, Threat and Intimidation against Student Activists

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is gravely concern with the violence by a group of thugs who forcefully dispersed and physically attacked students who were distributing leaflets which reportedly asking the residents of Pekan, Pahang, a constituency of Prime Minister Najib, to make a difference in the upcoming General Election. The senseless attacks had begun since 12 February 2013.

SUARAM condemns the intimidation, attacks and harassment by non-state actors. This is not the first incident of thugs attacking student activists. Such despicable acts from non-state actors must be stopped immediately and it is the sole duty and responsibility of the police to protect the students in their legitimate exercise of their freedom of expression.

Students shall be allowed to participate in any organisation, society and association and must be treated equally in the eyes of the law. SUARAM records its highest condemnation on the bully tactics employed by non-state actors in attempting to intimidate the students and invading their space for participation. Such belittling exercise of the students reflects the immaturity and arrogance of the thugs against future leaders of the new generation.

SUARAM demands the IGP to conduct a thorough investigation on the police report lodged by the students and take necessary actions against the thugs in accordance to the law. The fact that the students were threatened on numerous occasions warrants the police to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety and security of the students who are actively involved in the Pekan campaign.

IGP Must Warn His Men Not To Be Involve In Penan Land Issue

 

IGP Must Warn His Men Not To Be Involve In Penan Land Issue

Press statement: 24th October 2012

 SUARAM refers to the statement by Sibu police chief DSP Bakar Sebau, warning the Penan natives that criminal action will be taken against them if they do not clear the roadblocks that they have erected.The Penan people have setup a blockade since 25th September 2012 to stop the traffic of lorries and heavy vehicles from entering into the RM3 billion Murum Dam project site.

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