Philippine human rights rep claims denied entry due to involvement with Bersih

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Despite the six-hour delay, Chito Gascon said his time in transit was not an ‘unpleasant experience’, adding that the authorities were very nice and polite towards him. Pic by The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Chito Gascon nearly did not make it to a human rights conference here today in which he had been invited to speak by Malaysia’s National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

The chairman of the Philippines Human Rights Commission who flew into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday afternoon told reporters today he was initially refused entry due to his involvement at an event last year that was also attended by Bersih 2.0 representatives.

An Immigration officer on duty has spotted a note on her screen while processing his entry and led him to a side room in the transit area.

“After around 30 minutes of waiting, they said I wasn’t allowed entry because of a police directive. Shortly after, a police officer stopped by and introduced himself as a member of the Special Branch but did not disclose his name.

“He said I was part of an illegal assembly which was Bersih related,” Gascon told reporters. Read more

Two women activists probed over ‘Bebas Maria’ walk

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Ivy Josiah and Ho Yock Lin were questioned by the police today for organising a protest demanding the release of Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah from her Security Offences (Special Measures) detention last year.

Ivy, who is the former executive director of the Women’s Aid Organisation and Ho, the former president of the All Women’s Action Society, had their statements recorded at the Dang Wangi police station.

“They asked us around 18 questions related to the walk. We maintained that we were just exercising our freedom of speech and assembly according to the Federal Constitution,” Ivy told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

More than 500 women, led by individuals from various civil society organisations took part in the 2016 protest march from Jalan Merbok to Parliament to demand the release of Maria from Sosma, which allows for detentions without trial for up to 28 days.

She was arrested on November 18, a day before the Bersih 5 rally, and was kept in solitary confinement for 11 days, and let go on November 28.


Man who threatened to behead Siti Kasim arrested

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Police say they have caught the man who made an online threat to behead lawyer Siti Kasim.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Amar Singh, in a text message, said a male suspect had been arrested on Tuesday night regarding the case.

“Yes, we can confirm that a male suspect was arrested last night,” The Star quoted Amar as saying.

News of the arrest was also shared by Siti on her Facebook page on Wednesday. She said the suspect had been remanded for three days. Read more

Investigate threats against Siti Kasim under Penal Code, says NGO

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty has called on the authorities to take immediate action against perpetrators behind a threat to inflict violence on lawyer and civil rights activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, saying the matter can be investigated under the Penal Code.

Its legal and campaign coordinator Melissa Sasidaran said the NGO was appalled by news reports that Siti had received online threats to rape, behead and attack her with acid, apparently over her alleged views on Islam and LGBT issues.

“It is unacceptable and shocking why the authorities are not taking such threatening and bullying behaviour against women with the seriousness it deserves,” Melissa said. Read more

Threat to behead: Activist-lawyer Siti Kasim files report

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Prominent lawyer and activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, better known as Siti Kasim, today lodged a police report against a man for calling on Muslims to behead her.

According to the New Straits Times, the first threat was posted online on July 3.

The man had attached an article quoting her stand on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as reported by an online portal but which she claimed had misquoted her.

On July 19, the same man wrote another post, attaching yet another article from the same online portal, stating that Siti Kasim had allegedly said, “Not to follow Arabic Islam, but follow the real Islam”. Read more

No food at KLIA lockup: Immigration to probe Bangladeshi’s grouses

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department will look into allegations by Bangladeshi human rights activist Adilur Rahman Khan, who was denied entry into the country.

Adilur was quoted by Dhaka-based The Daily Star news portal as saying that, among other things, he was forced to fork out US$100 (RM429) to get food while in detention at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Thursday.

“I have to check on this,” Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali told FMT when contacted today.

“But the immigration is not the one responsible to provide them (those held at KLIA) with food.

“There is a vendor appointed by the airline operators who is supposed to look into their well-being.” Read more

Bangladeshi activist alleges harsh conditions in KLIA lockup

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: A Bangladeshi human rights activist who was arrested when he flew into Malaysia with a valid visa last week has claimed that he saw several other travellers from his country being detained under trying conditions despite possessing proper documents.

Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary of the rights group Odhikar, also said he was forced to fork out US$100 (RM429) to get food while in detention at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) during the ordeal.

The Bangladeshi Supreme Court advocate, who was later deported by the Malaysian immigration department, said detainees who could not afford to pay the amount had to consume water only. Read more

Film censorship is being used to quell discourse in Malaysia — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent


Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

AS a documentary filmmaker, I regularly screen my films and also give talks and workshops, both locally and internationally. When I am out of the country, I always get asked the question of how local filmmakers deal with the strict censorship laws in Malaysia.

My first response is always to correct their question. The question shouldn’t be how we Malaysian filmmakers deal with strict censorship laws; it should be how we deal with vague, unclear and inconsistent censorship laws.

Take for example, Lena Hendry, who is a former employee of a Malaysian-based human rights non-governmental organisation called Pusat KOMAS. She was found guilty of screening the documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka’ without censorship approval in 2013.

Hendry was convicted under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002 on Feb 21, 2017 and could now face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000 (US$6,750). Sentencing has been set for 22nd March. Read more

Suhakam gesa perlindungan hak asasi manusia lebih baik

Sumber: FMT News

Suhakam menegur penyalahgunaan Sosma dan penderitaan dihadapi Orang Asli di Gua Musang sebagai contoh pelanggaran hak asasi manusia.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail -- gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail — gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Hak asasi manusia perlu menjadi teras pembangunan negara Malaysia jika kerajaan menyasarkan untuk mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020, kata Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam).

Pengerusinya Tan Sri Razali Ismail berkata, walaupun 2016 menyaksikan beberapa kemajuan dalam aspek perlindungan hak asasi manusia di negara ini, masih terdapat pelanggaran yang perlu diakui dan ditangani.

Ini termasuk salah guna undang-undang keselamatan, khususnya Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012 (Sosma) yang digunakan untuk menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan perbezaan pendapat politik.

“Individu tidak boleh ditangkap dan ditahan kerana melaksanakan hak mereka terhadap kebebasan bersuara,” kata Razali dalam satu kenyataan hari ini. Read more

Suhakam says security laws being used to suppress political dissent

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

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today it is concerned that security laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) is being used for non-terrorism purposes and to suppress political dissent.

In a statement in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail stressed that Malaysians should not arrested and detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

“In its short lifespan, security laws, in particular the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) has been applied for non-terrorism purposes. For this reason, Suhakam is concerned that preventive detention, terrorism and security laws are being used to suppress freedom of expression and political dissent,” he said.

“Suhakam is particularly concerned that although preventive detention is a rare exception, in practice it may become a rule, and used for purposes other than what it was enacted for,” Razali added.

The government has said that Sosma does not apply to acts of terrorism alone and has a wide definition, and that it may be applicable to anything which disturbs national security and sovereignty. Read more