Protect the fundamental rights of parents and the best interest of the child — SUARAM

Source: The Malay Mail Online

JANUARY 4 — Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is disappointed with the decision made by the Court of Appeal in Indira Gandhi’s case on December 31, 2015.

The issue of unilateral conversion and the circumstances surrounding such cases is often difficult to address and even more so difficult to remedy. Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that everyone has the right to an effective remedy by a competent national tribunal. In cases of unilateral conversion, the Court of Appeal of Malaysia effectively divested themselves of such competency, leaving non-Muslims without a competent and suitable court to hear the matter. This clearly violates the fundamental rights held by Indira Gandhi.

Further, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Government of Malaysia and all public institutions of the country are duty-bound to implement and enforce the principles enshrined in UNCRC. Any decisions by the Court should reflect the principles of UNCRC and place the best interests of the child as the top priority in the decision-making process. Read more

Indira Gandhi must fight to the end on minors’ unilateral conversion, say lawyers

Source: The Malaysian Insider

M. Indira Gandhi must appeal to the Federal Court on her children’s unilateral conversion to Islam since non-Muslims have no recourse at the Shariah Court. – Reuters file pic, January 4, 2016.

Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi must appeal to the Federal Court to determine if a converted Muslim parent can unilaterally change the religion of their children, lawyers said.

They said Indira must exhaust all legal avenues since the majority Court of Appeal ruling last week held that conversion was a religious matter for the Shariah Court to decide.

The lawyers said Indira’s predicament was a fit and proper case of constitutional importance because non-Muslims could not go to the Shariah Court to seek remedy.

Lawyer S. Selvarajah said Indira must complete the legal process, no matter what the outcome.

“The process may be costly to her but she will have no problem obtaining leave for the apex court to hear the merit of the case,” said the lawyer, who appeared for the Catholic Church over the right to use the word “Allah” in a weekly publication. Read more