APC@GK3: Update on current civil & political rights situation in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

As you might be aware of, GK3 is happening smack bang in the middle of a strange moment in Malaysia. We are anticipating our next elections sometime very soon. A Coalition on Free & Fair Elections (BERSIH - meaning 'clean' in Malay) was formed, and organised a peaceful demonstration on this issue. This demonstration sort of catalysed a series of events which is resulting in rapid arrests of communication rights advocates & independent media journalists, opposition party members, civil and political rights activists and BERSIH coalition members. This morning, 26 people were arrested for trying to hand over a memorandum to the parliament. There was massive road blocks on all the routes into the city, and riot police trucks along the parliament route.
As you might be aware of, GK3 is happening smack bang in the middle of a strange moment in Malaysia. We are anticipating our next elections sometime very soon.  A Coalition on Free & Fair Elections (BERSIH - meaning 'clean' in Malay) was formed, and organised a peaceful demonstration on this issue.  This demonstration sort of catalysed a series of events which is resulting in rapid arrests of communication rights advocates & independent media journalists, opposition party members, civil and political rights activists and BERSIH coalition members. This morning, 26 people were arrested for trying to hand over a memorandum to the parliament. There was massive road blocks on all the routes into the city, and riot police trucks along the parliament route.

It seems a little crazy and ironic that as international delegates, communication rights & development advocates, feminist and human rights activists and more are being bubbled within the KLCC convention centre and our Deputy Prime Minister's cosy speech on Source: APC">ICT

-competitiveness, this is happening invisibly, right outside.

Sonia Randhawa, deputy president for the Asia-Pacific region of AMARC, and a director of the Centre for Independent Journalism, is wrote a statement on the issue and is now open for endorsement.

You can do so as an individual or as an organisation. With greater visibility, there is a better chance that the Malaysian "state" in this glossary). As a general rule, "government" should not be capitalised.

Source: Wikipedia">government

will be more wary in operationalising swift disappearances of civil and political rights activists in the manner of Ops Lalang in 1987 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lalang), where more than 100 people were detained under the Internal Security Act (which allows for indefinite detention without trial).

Below there is some information about what is happening to give this some context.

* Information about election process & laws.
* Coalition on Free & Fair Elections (BERSIH).

10 Nov: massive BERSIH rally
=============================
Brief: More than 30,000 people participated in a peaceful rally organised by BERSIH - one the biggest in recent times. Police blocked off roads, responded with tear gas, chemical laced water, riot-police trucks and arrests.

* The objectives.
* Video clips on the rally youtube.
* Al Jazeera interview with Information Minister about the 10 Nov rally.
* Malaysiakini articles (because you need to be subscribed to read Mkini, I've reposted them on a Style information: This term should not be capitalised.

Source: Wikipedia and GenderIT.org">blog

):
** LIVE reports: The Bersih rally.
** PM vows to crack down on Bersih rally.
* TodayOnlne Article: US, M'sia face off over mass protests.

25 November: Hindraf handover of petition to British High Commissioner
======================================================================
Brief: Reportedly 10,000 people assembled outside The British High Comm to handover a petition on discrimination against the Indian ethic minority in Malaysia. More tear gas and chemical laced water cannons.
* Mkini: 30,000 Hindraf protesters rally in KL streets.
* Miki: PM considering detention of Indian activists.
* Al Jazeera report on you tube.
* The Sun: Photos of the rally.

9 Dec: Human Rights Walk
========================
Brief: Annual Human Rights Festival by Bar Council didn't happen because of permit issues. Some decided to go ahead with the walk anyway. Arrested.
* Mkini: Human rights march: 5 lawyers arrested.
* Mikini: Police arrest Bar Council rights committee chief over festival banners.
* Mkini: Lawyers not above the law, says Abdullah.
* Video clip on walk.

11 Dec: Handover of memorandum on arrests of BERSIH coalition members
=====================================================================
Brief: Handover of memorandum planned to the parliament. Massive road blocks, group told they had no permission to go parliament (!). Arrests. Released same day
* Mikin: All roads to Parliament blocked.
* Mkini: Memo to Parliament: 26 arrested, all released tonight.

General crackdown:
* Associated Press.
* The Sun: 30 Nabbed.

There's more news article under the tag "right to assembly" in beritaberita blog.


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