Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) applauds the Malaysians government’s decision to vote in favour of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the protection of human rights defenders. By voting in favour for the resolution, the government is obliged to ensure that the resolution is put into practice in Malaysia.
Recalling the rapidly declining state of affairs in regard to human rights in Malaysia within the last few years and the prosecution of human rights defenders such as Adam Adli (sedition), Arutchelvan (sedition), Eric Paulsen (sedition), Jannie Lasimbang (Peaceful Assembly Act), Khalid Ismath (sedition and Communications and Multimedia Act), Lena Hendry (Film Censorship Act), Maria Chin (PAA), Zunar (sedition) and countless others, it is of paramount importance for the government to act in a manner that reflects the stance they adopted in the United Nations General Assembly.
If the government fails to honour the obligations it has undertaken by voting in affirmation, there would undoubtedly be severe repercussions against the government and jeopardise the time dedicated by the prime minister in improving Malaysia’s international standing.
On this note, Suaram calls on the government to:
- Drop all criminal and civil charges against human rights defenders in Malaysia;
- Repeal the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the Sedition Act 1948, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and all other legislation recognised as incompatible with recognised international human rights;
- Establish a moratorium on the use of such provisions; and
- Take action against the heads of government agencies that are actively violating human rights in Malaysia.
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.