Friday, 22 June 2007

FORUM-ASIA Press Statement: Malaysia - Condemns the Detention of Two Human Rights Defenders

Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 4:32 PM

(Bangkok, 18 June 2007) FORUM-ASIA, in its open letter to the Chief of Johor Bahru Police Stateion, Mr. Nor Hashim, condemns the arrest of two human rights defenders, Nyam Kee Han and See Siew Min, which occurred on 17 June 2007. The two human rights defenders are working with Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM).

Nyam Kee Han and See Siew Min were arrested at around 11.00 am on 17 June 2007 while handing out leaflets at a demonstration in front of the residence of Menteiri Besar (Chief Executive of the State).

The peaceful demonstration was meant to draw the Chief Executive's attention to the rising crime rate in Johor Bahru. The two defenders were handing out leaflets calling for the immediate creation of the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), recommended by the Royal Commission, to push for the police reform.

At present the defenders have not been given any concrete information about the charges they face, but it is believed that they will be charged with illegally demonstrating and handing out leaflets against the sedition law. Mr. Anselmo Lee, the Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA said in the open letter that, "As a member state to the United Nations, this charge is not acceptable. Malaysia must abide by the international obligations, which protect the right to freedom of assembly. Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) stresses that 'no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.'"

The open letter state that Malaysia must follow the 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which states that human rights defenders have the "right, individually and in association with others…to meet or assemble peacefully". "We call for the immediate and unconditional release of the two activists. This action will demonstrate the Malaysian government's respect for human rights standards and the international treaties to which the Malaysian government is a party," stressed Mr. Lee.

FORUM-ASIA also asks specific UN experts to take immediate action on this matter:
  • UN Special representative of the Secretary General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Ms. Hila Jilani; and,
  • UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, Ms. Manuela Carmena Castriollo, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Ms. Soledad Villagra, Mr. Tamas Ban, and Mr. Seyed Mohammad Hashemi.
Sincerely yours

Anselmo Lee
Executive Director

For further information, please contact Mr. Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA, +662 391 8801 (ext. 502), Mr. Pokpong Lawansiri, Human Rights Defenders Program, +662 391 8801 (ext. 606)


通告 Notification


作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。



The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)