Suara Rakyat Malaysia condemns the denial of Arutchelvan’s entry into Sarawak.
Arutchelvan was informed that there is a travel ban imposed on him by immigration when he landed at Miri today for human rights training for the indigenous peoples.
Sarawak has always maintained a travel ban on a list of politicians and activists. The list of banned individuals has thus far been dominated by politicians and activists who are perceived to be affiliated to the opposition. The ban imposed on Arutchelvan is another politically motivated move by the Sarawak state government that curiously came after the Sarawak election.
The fact that he was prevented from entering Sarawak when he was there to provide human rights training for the Sarawakian people can be interpreted as the Sarawak’s governments disregard for human rights.
Considering the chief minister’s dedication to the welfare of the people of Sarawak, the failure to provide access to human rights training for the Sarawakian people only makes his stance on welfare hypocritical.
Considering the popular support received by the newly elected government, Suaram calls on the Sarawak state government to reassure Sarawakians and all other Malaysians of its commitment to the welfare of its citizens by supporting the human rights movement and reverse the ill-advised decision to bar Arutchelvan and other human rights activists from entering Sarawak.
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.