So what’s that about human rights? — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.

Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.

DECEMBER 30 ― This year has seen widespread human rights violations in Malaysia, including attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, native rights, and the right to privacy.

The government appears to be increasingly intolerant of dissent and resorted to investigating trivial matters like the posting of “insulting” photos of leaders on WhatsApp, posting a video of a press conference, and various Facebook posts and tweets.

If Malaysia is serious about achieving developed nation status by 2020, then the government must acknowledge and respect basic human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Without the space to express ideas and opinions, society cannot progress.

These are the top 8 human rights violations in the country in 2016, in no particular order: Read more

Labelled ‘militant’, LGBT community says joined Bersih 5 to uphold democracy

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has defended some of its members’ decision to join the Bersih 5 rally last month, after a group called Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) labelled them “militant” for the act.

In a statement today, the community said LGBT persons and groups stand in solidarity with diverse groups and all people living in Malaysia calling for good, transparent and accountable governance in our country.

“How else could LGBT persons seek justice and create a better Malaysia if not by speaking up and participating in democracy?” it asked in the statement endorsed by 29 civil societies.

“Centhra, however, is suggesting that LGBT persons cannot be seen, be in solidarity, participate and exercise our constitutional rights. For Centhra, LGBT persons should remain hidden, silent and accept the gross discrimination and violence that we experience.

“The fact that there is consistent resistance to LGBT persons whenever we take a visible stance demonstrates deep levels of homophobia and transphobia that need to be addressed through meaningful engagements with LGBT persons and in accordance to international standards of human rights,” it added.

The community said LGBT persons are being denied fundamental human rights and face discrimination and violence just for being who they are, and the views espoused by Centhra only increase risks and challenges they face.

“We remind Centhra that Malaysia is a member of the United Nations and is obligated to uphold international human rights standards. We also call for meaningful dialogue and engagement with the LGBT community to promote understanding instead of misinformed condemnation, moral posturing and fear mongering,” it said. Read more

LGBT Malaysians uphold democracy because we are citizens

Source: Malaysiakini

LETTER

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

We are appalled by the absurd, irresponsible and inaccurate claims made by the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in two news articles here and here dated Nov 27, 2016.

In both articles, Centhra irresponsibly labeled LGBT persons and groups as ‘militant’ simply for participating in Bersih 5 and supporting the urging for clean and fair elections. LGBT persons and groups stand in solidarity with diverse groups and all people living in Malaysia urging good, transparent and accountable governance in our country.

In the articles, Centhra also criticised Bersih for allowing LGBT persons to participate in the rallies. We find the urging to isolate and police LGBT groups and persons deeply troubling.

The fact is, LGBT persons are often denied some, if not all, of fundamental human rights because of our sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Many LGBT persons face gross discrimination and violence within homes, schools, workplace, hospitals, and public sectors simply for being who we are. Centhra’s views increase risks and challenges for LGBT persons to seek assistance and access justice when violence occurs. Read more

AWAM March to Parliament for Maria Chin Abdullah

Source: AWAM Malaysia Facebook

Women Walk for Maria

Please join us and viral

Date: 23/11/16 (Wed)

Gathering Time: 10am
Walking Time:10.30am

Place: Gather along Jln Parliament near Padang Merbok and walk to House of Parliament.

Wear: Yellow/Bersih tee with a purple ribbon or purple tee with a yellow ribbon.

What:
1)To hand over Memo to Najib and other relevent Minister.
2) Press Conference outside the Parliament. Expected to end 12.30pm

Note: the last day of Parliamentary session ends on 24/11/16. Hence, we have to do it on 23/11/16.

bebas-maria-awam

Organised by:
Women 4 Maria

Released – seven held during Bersih rally

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The seven people arrested during the Bersih 5.0 rally on Saturday have been released by police.

City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Rusdi Mohd Isa said the seven, released on police bail, were arrested for allegedly committing various offences during the rally.

“We are in the midst of tracing the whereabouts of another person. We hope to arrest the person soon,” he said yesterday.

On Sunday, eight others who were arrested on Friday, were released.

They were DAP leaders Ronnie Liu, Jimmy Wong, Lee Khai Meng, Bersih’s Mandeep Singh, student activists Muhamad Luqman Nul Haqim Zul Razali, Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, Muhamad Safwan Anang@Talib and PSM leader S. Arutchelvan.

They, too, were released on police bail.

“This entire exercise was done before Bersih 5 to deter them from participating in the rally,” lawyer Ramkarpal Singh was quoted as saying outside the Dang Wangi police headquarters yesterday.

Police arrested a total of 23 people on Friday and Saturday for allegedly committing various offences.

More Malays at Bersih 5 due to greater awareness, observers say

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bersih 5 protesters march towards Masjid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur, November 19, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Bersih 5 protesters march towards Masjid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur, November 19, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 ― Growing awareness on issues concerning the Malay community is among the reasons for the increased participation by the country’s largest ethnic group in Saturday’s Bersih 5 rally, according to political analysts.

Observers have noted that there seemed to be more Malay attendees during the mass rally’s fifth iteration in Kuala Lumpur, a departure from the previous year that was seen as dominated by the ethnic Chinese.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Associate Prof Dr Jeniri Amir said this indicated that the country’s dominant community are now seeking greater participation in the push for institutional reforms.

“The Malays are becoming more aware with what’s going on in the country, getting involved and charting the future of the nation,” he told Malay Mail Online on Sunday. Read more

Unacceptable use of Sosma against Maria — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

NOVEMBER 21 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wishes to underline its opposition to the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), which it has objected to in the past.

Suhakam reiterates that the broad characterisation of “security offences” under Sosma now suggests that its ambit extends beyond terrorism offences.

The application of the Sosma to Maria Chin where she has been detained without charge and without trial in this instance, and her wellbeing and welfare unknown, cannot be accepted by a society that has a national conscience.

The government’s assurance in 2011 promised that “no individual will be arrested merely on the point of political ideology.” In Suhakam’s view, the preventive detention of Maria Chin is a misuse of the law, an abuse of the legal system and of law enforcement.

Suhakam advises the government to interpret in good faith and in accordance with their ordinary meaning, the laws in their context and in the light of their object and purpose.

Suhakam would like to see a situation where the overemphasis by the authorities on restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly is replaced by efforts to facilitate the right.

* Press statement from Tan Sri Razali Ismail, chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on November 21, 2016.

Son says Bersih chief too frail to withstand ‘sleep deprivation’

Source: The Malay Mail online

Maria Chin Abdullah's son Azumin Mohamad Yunus (centre) outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters after making the report. — Picture by Siow Feng Saw. From the Malay Mail Online

Maria Chin Abdullah’s son Azumin Mohamad Yunus (centre) outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters after making the report. — Picture by Siow Feng Saw. From the Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Nov 21 — Azumin Mohamad Yunus today demanded that authorities release his mother, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, from the solitary confinement that he said was causing harmful sleep deprivation.

Explaining that his mother suffered ailments such as hypertension, osteoarthritis and a high cholesterol level, Azumin said the alleged conditions of her detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, would endanger her health.

“When I met my mother at the Dang Wangi police headquarters on Sunday, she told us that she was living in a small cell with no proper bed, no blanket, windows and the lights were left on all the time. Read more

Suhakam presses Putrajaya to explain pre-rally dragnet

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Authorities had no reason to detain over a dozen activists and political leaders before and after the Bersih 5 yesterday, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said today.

In a statement commending Malaysians for exercising their right to assemble, the commission also pointed out that the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur as well as associated events nationwide proceeded peacefully despite police action.

“Suhakam cannot find justification in the arrests of several key assembly organisers,” it said in a statement. Read more

Activists, opposition leaders remanded for two days

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Picture shows the post-Bersih 5 rally press conference held at Hotel Midah, Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Picture shows the post-Bersih 5 rally press conference held at Hotel Midah, Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 ― Several of the activists and opposition leaders arrested yesterday before and after the Bersih 5 rally will be held for another two days.

Lawyer Melissa Sasidaran said a magistrate granted the remand order for graphics artist Fahmi Reza, activist Hishamuddin Rais, PKR MPs Chua Tian Chang and Zuraida Kamaruddin, DAP’s Pasir Pinji assemblyman Howard Lee, and student activist Mohd Luqman Nul Hakim Zul Razali after a two-hour hearing today.

“The magistrate allows remand of two days, starting today and tomorrow,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted. All those remanded were arrested under Section 147/511 of the Penal Code, she said. Section 147 of the Penal Code pertains to rioting while Section 511 provides punishment for attempting to commit said offence.

Lawyers for Liberty earlier tweeted that others arrested before Bersih 5 — Mandeep Singh, Safwan Anang, Parti Sosialis Malaysia politician S. Arutchelvan and Universiti Malaya student Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof — will be released at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this afternoon. Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah remains detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, while “Red Shirts” leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos is remanded until Tuesday. Read more