In report, watchdog says human rights in Malaysia on downward trend

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Pic Reuters.

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Pic Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The human rights situation in Malaysia showed a “marked deterioration” in 2016 due to increased arrests of government critics and expanded restrictions on public assembly, the Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2017.

The report, which was released tonight, detailed the state of human rights in more than 90 countries.

“The Malaysian government has responded to corruption allegations by throwing respect for rights out the window,” said Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson in a statement.

“By bringing a slew of prosecutions against those expressing dissenting views or peacefully protesting, the government is seriously undermining democratic institutions and the rights of all Malaysian citizens,” he added.

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Read more

Suhakam also to examine Juru torture claim

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) — NST FIle pic

Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) — NST FIle pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 ― Reports of alleged torture and killings at the Immigration detention centre in Juru, Penang will be investigated by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said today.

However, he stressed that he was “not pointing fingers” at any parties over the claims of abuse against female detainees at the centre, which allegedly caused the deaths of some inmates.

“We will investigate because that is under our mandate,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the Civil Society Conference and National Security here today.

The Cambodia Daily Monday quoted a Cambodian woman recently detained at the centre as alleging abuse and claiming that at least  seven other detainees from Cambodia and Vietnam were beaten to death there.

MORE TO COME Read more

In Malaysia, Syrian migrants speak of harrowing torture in Syria

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A Syrian man reads the Quran after a mass prayer session during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Harran refugee camp in Sanliurfa province, Turkey June 7, 2016. — Reuters pic

A Syrian man reads the Quran after a mass prayer session during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Harran refugee camp in Sanliurfa province, Turkey June 7, 2016. — Reuters pic

SHAH ALAM — It is hard for peace-loving Malaysians to imagine ceaseless war. But for a doughty bunch of Syrian migrants, it was all there for many years.

Thanks to the efforts of the Coalition of Humanitarian NGOs for Syria, 68 people are now settled in the country after being moved from one refugee camp to another since fleeing their conflict-ridden homeland.

The migrants were vetted by Home Ministry officials, who ensured they had no ties with the government of Bashar al-Assad, ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, or any other political faction in the civil war. Any connections, even the most remote, merited automatic disqualification.

Yet the adults of these 17 families will never forget the horrors they witnessed first-hand during the early years of the Syrian Civil War, which erupted in 2011.

Abdullah, 26, was a former military officer under the government of Syria’s strongman, who once worked in a four-storey prison where dissidents were subjected to torture. Sickened by what he saw, he eventually turned against al-Assad and fled with his wife Nur S., also 26.

“The most common method of breaking you was to tie your arms above your head and leave you in that position for 10 days. Either that or arms pulled and tied behind your back, or one arm and leg pulled back for that period,” he said, as some of his compatriots gestured in illustration. Read more

“The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia, Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia and Lawyers for Liberty together launch the Campaign on Malaysia’s Accession to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”

Source: Suhakam

Joint Press Release

“The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia, Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia and Lawyers for Liberty together launch the Campaign on Malaysia’s Accession to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”

KUALA LUMPUR (26 June 2015) – On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture celebrated annually on 26 June, we, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (the Commission), Amnesty International Malaysia (AI Malaysia), Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) together reiterate our strong commitment to the fight against torture, express our solidarity with all victims of torture and their families, and call on the Government to accede to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CAT).

Decades have passed since the said Convention had entered into force, prescribing through international law a total prohibition of all forms of torture. Yet torture continues across the world, including in Malaysia, despite it being inconsistent with our values. By joining the other 158 United Nations Member States that are party to the CAT, Malaysia would be making a firm commitment towards eliminating torture. Read more