To: 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
(Sila click di bawah surat ini untuk tandatangan)
Re: Stop the arrests and intimidation of activists in Malaysia and release all Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) activists held under the Emergency Ordinance Act immediately
We, the Malaysian and international community, are shocked and appalled at the ongoing crackdown on Malaysian political and civil society activists over the last week. The events unfolding in Malaysia in the lead up to the Bersih 2.0 rally, a civil society coalition calling for clean and fair elections, have jarred a nerve with many Malaysians both at home and abroad.
Since the 24th of June 2011, more than 100 activists have been arrested or questioned by police for their role and participation in activities related to the Bersih rally and other peaceful political initiatives.
On the 25th of June 2011, 30 activists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia were arrested by the police in Kepala Batas, Penang. They were accused of ‘reviving the communist ideology’ and have been remanded under Section 122 of the Penal Code for “waging war against the King.
On the 27th of June 2011, the chairperson of Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and poet Datuk A. Samad Said were summoned to the Dang Wangi police station. Both are being investigated under Section 27(5) of the Malaysian Police Act for organising an “unlawful assembly” and Section 27(5) of the Sedition Act.
On the 29th of June 2011, police officers from the Selangor State Headquarters raided the office of the the Bersih 2.0 Secretariat without a warrant. They arrested 7 people and confiscated laptops, cameras as well as materials prepared for the rally including t-shirts, leaflets, banners and placards. On the same day, more than 20 civil society activists were hauled up by the Kuala Lumpur Dang Wangi Police Station for questioning in relation to the launch of the Bersih rally.
On 30th of June 2011, police arrested four people in Ipoh, including a member of parliament and state assemblyman, while they were meeting voters wearing yellow clothes, the official colour of the Bersih rally. Most recently, on the 2nd of July 2011, six people arrested on the 25th of June in Penang were re-arrested under the Emergency Ordinance a law which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
In the wake of the governments refusal to allow peaceful,legitimate protest,a Bersih 2.0 Global Solidarity Network has sprung up with co-ordinated action and support developing in Australia, the United Kingdom,France,Taiwan,Korea,Switzerland, Austria and the United States to date.
Global solidarity walks and demonstrations have been planned on the 9th of July 2011 in London, France, Taiwan, Korea, Sydney, Cranberra, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington in the pursuit of free and fair elections in Malaysia.
We believe the crackdown on basic civil liberties and arbitrary arrests are clearly politically motivated and aimed at intimidating the Bersih 2.0 organisers, political activists and the wider public from going ahead with the planned rally on the 9th of July. This crackdown shows an utter disregard for freedom of peaceful expression and assembly, a right which is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and under Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution. We believe by continuing these scare tactics, the Malaysian government is seriously damaging Malaysia’s reputation abroad.
There remains a growing concern that the government and associated right wing groups such as PERKASA and PERKIDA might attempt to orchestrate violence at the peaceful rally and use it as an opportunity to arrest many human rights activists and opposition leaders under Malaysia's notorious Internal Security Act that allows for indefinite detention without trial.
We call on the Malaysian government to:
• Release all activists who have been arrested immediately and unconditionally and drop all unfounded charges against them;
• Ensure all those detained have access to lawyers, their family members and any medical care they may require;
• Stop the use of repressive laws such as the Emergency Ordinance, Police Act and Sedition laws to criminalize peaceful political activities;
• Respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
• Conduct itself in a manner that is befitting of a member of the UN Human Rights Council and in doing so earn the respect of the international community and the Malaysian people it serves.