Hindraf seeks UN intervention to free Bersih 2.0 chief


KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, to help secure the immediate release of Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.

Maria was arrested last Friday, on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally, and detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy also wants Zeid to caution Putrajaya that repressive legislation was contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Federal Constitution.

Waytha said in a letter that Maria was being held in solitary confinement, in a 15 feet x 8 feet cell with no windows, no bed, and a hard slab of wood on a cement floor.

“Two light bulbs are on 24 hours,” said the Hindraf chief.

According to information the NGO has gathered, Maria was held incommunicado for two days before family and lawyers were allowed to see her.

“Her location is unknown,” added Waytha. “This inhumane and degrading treatment can only be described as torture.”

“It’s completely unjustifiable.”

The letter brought the UN up to speed on Maria, Bersih 2.0 and the Bersih 5 rally.

Waytha also went into details on SOSMA.

“Maria is being held under section 124(C) of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy,” the letter stated.

Waytha reminded Zeid that Malaysia had been in the Human Rights Council for the last two terms up to 2013.

It was currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council and Chair of the Asean countries.