Home Civil Society Voices Kerajaan harus mendukung kewajiban hak asasi manusia (Malay/English)

Kerajaan harus mendukung kewajiban hak asasi manusia (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) mengikuti perkembangan Malaysia yang baru sahaja memenangi pemilihan satu daripada 18 kerusi di Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB, dengan sebanyak 183 undi bagi tempoh 2022-2024.

Seiring dengan perkembangan ini, kami menggesa pihak kerajaan untuk mempromosi dan mendukung kewajiban hak asasi manusia di peringkat antarabangsa di negara sendiri, termasuk mempromosikan hak asasi kebebasan bersuara dan hak untuk mendapatkan maklumat.

Berita ini hadir sewaktu dunia kini sedang beralih kepada fasa pasca wabak Covid dan pendekatan yang berteraskan hak asasi manusia menjadi sangat penting buat semua negara untuk bangkit secara adil dan saksama.

Kami turut menekankan  antara bulan Januari sehingga Ogos 2021, pada kadar yang paling minimum, sejumlah 17 kes yang melibatkan 37 individu dari pendukung hak asasi manusia dan seniman telah disiasat di bawah undang-undang yang lapuk dan menindas seperti Akta Hasutan 1948.

Pihak berkuasa kerap juga mengguna pakai taktik ugutan dan gangguan terhadap media. Adalah sangat membimbangkan untuk melihat para wartawan dipanggil oleh pihak polis atas sebab laporan yang mereka hasilkan. Pada tahun ini sahaja, kita menyaksikan sebanyak lima kes yang melibatkan wartawan dipanggil untuk disoal siasat.

Bahkan, pembikin filem bebas dan pereka seni grafik ada yang dijadikan sasaran, misalnya, kes animasi pendek Freedom Film Network berjudul Chilli Powder and Thinner dan kes Fahmi Reza yang sudah dipanggil untuk disoal siasat sebanyak sembilan kali tahun ini atas sebab lakaran poster satiranya.

Sekembalinya kerajaan Perikatan Nasional di peringkat pentadbiran pada Mac 2020 menunjukkan lebih banyak tindakan seperti ini melalui undang-undang Akta Hasutan, serta undang-undang lain yang menindas, bagi menekan perbahasan yang kritis dan berlawanan di Malaysia.

Tatkala Malaysia kini sudah berjaya memiliki kerusi di Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB dan berjanji secara terang untuk mendukung hak kemanusiaan, pihak kerajaan seharusnya mengambil tindakan yang lebih jujur dan jelas bagi membaik pulih keadaan hak asasi manusia di negara ini. Komitmen di peringkat antarabangsa tidak seharusnya tinggal sebagai topeng semata-mata, sebaliknya harus diterjemah ke dalam bentuk tindakan dan agenda reformasi di peringkat nasional.

Kami menggesa pihak pemerintah untuk menunjukkan bahawa agenda reformasi di Malaysia tidak semakin layu, dan mereka terus berdedikasi untuk melaksanakan tadbir urus yang baik dan prinsip kebertanggungjawaban berdasarkan prinsip hak asasi manusia sejagat dan kebebasan bersuara, berkumpul dan berucap.

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Bagi mendukung kewajiban untuk mempromosi hak asasi manusia, terutamanya jaminan perlembagaan seperti kebebasan bersuara dan hak untuk mendapatkan maklumat, perkara-perkara berikut hendaklah segera dijamin dan diterap secepat mungkin:

  • Melaksanakan audit yang menyeluruh terhadap kewajiban hak asasi manusia antarabangsa yang harus dipatuhi dan membina pelan tindakan yang progresif, termasuk memperbaharui pelan tindakan hak asasi manusia kebangsaan meliputi:
    • Menghentikan serta merta segala bentuk intimidasi dan gangguan terhadap wartawan, pendukung hak asasi manusia, dan semua organisasi masyarakat sivil yang lantang bersuara, membangkang atau menggesa kebertanggungjawaban dari pihak pemerintah, termasuk melalui penggunaan undang-undang yang menekan
    • Melaksanakan moratorium yang terus berkuat kuasa serta bergerak ke arah pemansuhan Akta Hasutan 1948, Akta Rahsia Rasmi, Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984, Seksyen 233 Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998, dan menggubal semula Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012 dan Seksyen 504 dan 505(b) Kanun Keseksaan
    • Komited untuk melaksanakan undang-undang hak untuk mendapatkan maklumat serta merta
  • Membina jalur masa dan pelan tindakan yang konkrit bagi bergerak menuju ke arah ratifikasi perjanjian hak asasi manusia antarabangsa, khususnya Perjanjian Antarabangsa tentang Hak-Hak Politik dan Sivil dan Perjanjian Antarabangsa tentang Hak Ekonomi, Sosial dan Budaya
  • Merangka dan membina mekanisme koordinasi peringkat nasional bagi menyelaraskan kesemua kewajiban antarabangsa, termasuk ratifikasi terhadap perjanjian antarabangsa seperti Konvensyen Penghapusan Segala Bentuk Diskriminasi Terhadap Wanita (Cedaw), Konvensyen terhadap Hak Kanak-Kanak dan Konvensyen terhadap Hak untuk Orang Kurang Upaya; semakan berkala sejagat; pembangunan lestari; dan lain-lain, bagi memastikan laporan dan penerapan yang selaras

Adalah sangat penting buat pihak kerajaan untuk bertindak sekarang dan tidak bersubahat dalam membiarkan keadaan hak asasi manusia di Malaysia terus merudum sehinggakan pendukung hak asasi manusia dan masyarakat umum harus hidup dalam keadaan ketakutan.

Wathshlah Naidu ialah pengarah eksekutif Centre for Independent Journalism

English version

Government should uphold its human rights obligations

The Centre for Independent Journalism notes that Malaysia has won the election to take one of the 18 seats in the United Nations Human Rights Council, with 183 votes for the 2022 -2024 term.

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In line with this development, we urge the government to promote and uphold its international human rights obligations at the homefront, in promoting our fundamental right to freedom of expression and right to information.

The news came at a moment as the world is emerging from the post-Covid pandemic phase where a human rights-centred approach will be necessary for all countries to not just recover but recover equitably.

We have highlighted that between January and August 2021, at a minimum, 17 cases involving 37 individuals, human rights defenders and artists were investigated under these archaic and repressive laws such as the Sedition Act 1948.

Authorities also have frequently used harassment tactics toward the media. It is a worrying pattern to see journalists being summoned by the police for their reporting. This year alone, we saw at least five incidents where journalists are being questioned and investigated.

Even independent filmmakers and graphic artists are often targeted, for example, Freedom Film Network over the short animation film Chilli Powder and Thinner and Fahmi Reza who has been questioned by the police for the ninth time this year over his satirical posters.

The coming into power of the Perikatan Nasional government in March 2020 saw the continued use of the practice of the Sedition Act, amongst other repressive laws, being weaponised to suppress critical debates and dissent in Malaysia.

As Malaysia has secured a seat in the UN Human Rights Council and made public pledges to uphold human rights, the government must take sincere and concrete action to improve its human rights record at home. This international commitment should not remain a mere facade but must be translated into real action and reform at the national level.

We urge the state to show that the reform landscape in Malaysia is not dying, and they remain committed to good governance and accountability based on respect for universal human rights and freedom of expression, assembly, and speech.

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In upholding its obligation in promoting our human rights, particularly our constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and right to information, the following must be guaranteed and adopted without delay:

  • Conduct a comprehensive audit of its international human rights obligations and develop a more progressive plan of action, including upscaling the national human rights action plan, that would cover:
    • An immediate end to the intimidation and harassment – of journalists, human rights defenders and other civil society actors in Malaysia who speak out, express dissent and demand accountability from the state – including through the application of the repressive laws
    • Implement an immediate moratorium and move towards the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948, the Official Secrets Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and reform or amend the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and Section 504 and 505(b) of the Penal Code
    • Commit to the enactment of a right to information law without any further delay
  • Develop a concrete timeline and plan of action to immediately move towards the ratification of international human rights treaties, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Institute and establish a national coordinating mechanism that would align all international obligations, including other ratified international treaties such as the Conventional on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability; the universal periodic review and sustainable development, to ensure timely reporting and implementation that is harmonised

It is incumbent on the government to act now and not be complicit in allowing the human rights environment in Malaysia to deteriorate into a situation where human rights defenders and the general public operate within a climate of fear.

Wathshlah Naidu is executive director of the Centre for Independent Journalism

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