Malaysia – Thai civil society condemns ISA, crackdown on freedom of expression
14 August 2009 1:45 am
Thai civil society organisation "Social Move Assembly" organised a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, on 11 August 2009, to condemn the violence against the demonstrators gathered for a
protest against the Internal Security Act in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early this month.
Thai civil society organisation "Social Move Assembly" organised a
protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, on 11
August 2009, to condemn the violence against the demonstrators gathered for a
protest against the Internal Security Act in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early this month. Here's their letter to the Ambassador of Malaysia to Thailand.
To: H.E. Dato' Husni Zai bin Yaacob
The Embassy of Malaysia in Thailand
CC: Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Re: Release the Individuals Arrested During Anti-ISA Rally
We are writing to you on behalf of the Social Move Assembly to express our deep
concerns over your government’s and police’s aggressive attempts at dispersing hundreds of
demonstrators at an August 1 protest against the Internal Security Act (ISA). The police
have been shooting tear gas and spraying chemical-laced water cannons towards the strong
crowd to force them to disperse and arrest over 60 individuals.
The Anti-ISA rally, the demonstrators call to the government to abolish the ISA that allows
the indefinite imprisonment of people without trial and against democratic movements, the
workers' movement, civil society and student movements to enable the government to cling
to power. Furthermore, at least 17 people are being held under the law, for example, a 16-
year-old child has been put in jail for 8 years.
Although human rights activists have held numerous smaller protests over the years against
the ISA, the Prime Minister Najib Rasak insists to protect the law.
We, pro-democracy, strongly stand up for the right of assembly and freedom of expression
which are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Malaysian
government and the authorities do not permit the protest and say that it undermines public
peace. The police are brutal and arrest 438 protesters including the Indian minors. Although
most of them are released, but 63 people are still arrested and could be charged with illegal
assembly, which is punishable by a year in prison and a fine. In the number of 63 arrested
people includes children of them.
We condemn over your government’s ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and
using violence against the protesters. And we protest against the ISA that violate the rights
and freedom of democracy movements.
We demand that the 63 individuals should be released immediately and unconditionally and
further demand that your government stops the assault on freedom of expression and the
ISA that allows detention without trial.
Social Move Assembly
P.0. Box 2049
Chulalongkorn University Post Office
Bangkok 10332 Thailand
To read the original statement in Thai, please click here (Prachathai website).