Storify Feed Feedburner Facebook Twitter Flickr Youtube Vimeo

ROS Lboard

Arrests shows govt won’t listen to other views

 | June 28, 2011

Human Rights Watch says the arrest of PSM activists are absurd and calls for their immediate release.

KUALA LUMPUR: The arrest of the 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members last Saturday has  drawn international criticism with the Human Rights Watch (HRW) calling for their immediate release.

The group was accused of “waging war against the king” by attempting to resutrect the long vanquished  Communist Party of Malaysia (CPM) and have been remanded for seven days.

“Charging the political opposition with restarting a movement that died with the Cold War 20 years ago is more than a little absurd,” said HRW’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson in a statement today.

“These arrests show the government’s fundamental disregard for the democratic process and its willingness to go to great lengths to frighten Malaysians with political bogeymen from the distant past.”

HRW noted that while the general elections are not slated for Malaysia until 2013, the government has tightened repression on all election-related activity. The heaviest clampdown has been on the Bersih rally on July 9 which has seen the arrests of 81 activists since June 22.

“The Malaysian government’s actions to deny the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly run counter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Robertson stated.

“It also contradicts the government’s commitments to respect international human rights standards as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

Malaysia was elected to the council last May amid widespread criticism from international human rights bodies that claimed the country fell short of UN standards.

HRW also pressed the government to heed the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam’s) call to allow the Bersih rally and the possible counter-marches planned by Umno Youth and Perkasa to proceed.

“Rather than trying to silence peaceful critics, the Malaysian government should be working to ensure that election processes are fair and that they fully protect the civil and political rights of all Malaysians,” Robertson said.

“Arresting people for wearing t-shirts and distributing leaflets simply shows the depths of the government’s intolerance of opposing viewpoints.”


Comments

Readers are required to have a valid Facebook account to comment on this story. We welcome your opinions to allow a healthy debate. We want our readers to be responsible while commenting and to consider how their views could be received by others. Please be polite and do not use swear words or crude or sexual language or defamatory words. FMT also holds the right to remove comments that violate the letter or spirit of the general commenting rules.

The views expressed in the contents are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of FMT.

Comments