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URGENT ACTION : HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER RELEASED BUT STILL AT RISK

URGENT ACTION

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER released but STILL at risk

Maria Chin Abdullah, arrested on 18 November for organizing a rally on free and fair elections, was released on 28 November but remains at risk of being charged for exercising her rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association

Maria Chin Abdullah, chairperson of Bersih 2.0, the coalition for clean and fair elections in Malaysia, was released on 28 November after spending ten days in preventive detention in an unknown location. During her detention, she was kept in solitary confinement, in a cell without a bed, air circulation or windows and with a bright light on at all times. She was questioned between six to eight hours every day during her detention, as authorities sought information on Bersih 2.0’s activities. She was forced to wear blinding black goggles and handcuffed when being transported in and out of the cell for questioning. For the first two days of her confinement, she was denied access to her family and lawyers. Despite being released, the investigation against her continues, and the Inspector-General of Police has stated that she may be re-arrested under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested on 18 November for ‘attempts to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’, under section 124C of the Penal Code at the Bersih 2.0 office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. She was detained under the Security Offences and Special Measures Act 2012 (SOSMA), which allows for individuals to be held for up to 28 days without charge or access to courts. Her lawyers filed a habeas corpus (judicial review) application in the courts to challenge the lawfulness and conditions of her detention, scheduled to be heard on 29 November, but was later dropped since she was released the day before. Upon her release, the police threatened to arrest more people associated with the Bersih 2.0 movement.

During her detention, a death threat against her was hand-delivered at her family home, where her young sons reside, with a handwritten note stating “Last warning, if not RIP Marina [misspelled] and family” along with a live 45mm bullet. This is the third death threat Maria has received in recent months.

Please write immediately in English or your own language: 

  • Urging the Malaysian authorities to close the investigation into Maria Chin Abdullah under section 124C of the Malaysia Penal Code and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, as well as other investigations and charges against other peaceful activists that have been targeted in connection with the Bersih 5 rally;
  • Urging them to repeal or substantially amend the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and all other laws that allow for prolonged detention without charge which undermines fair trial rights;
  • Calling on the Malaysian authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the death threats Maria Chin Abdullah and her family have received; ensuring she and her family are granted immediate and effective protection.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:

Inspector General of Police

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Khalid bin Abu Bakar

IbuPejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia

Bukit Aman

50560 Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

Fax: +603 2070 7500

Email: kpn@rmp.gov.my

Salutation: Dear Inspector General

 

Home Minister

YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi        

KementerianDalamNegeri Malaysia

Blok D1, D2 & D9 Kompleks D            

Pusat PentadbiranKerajaan Persekutuan

62546 Putrajaya Malaysia

Fax: +603 8889 1613

Email: ahmadzahid@moha.gov.my

Salutation: Dear Home Minister

 

And copies to:

 

Attorney General  

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali

Attorney General’s Office

No. 45 PersiaranPerdana Precinct 4

62100 Putrajaya, Wilayah Putrajaya

Malaysia

Fax: +603 8890 5670

Email: pro@agc.gov.my

 

SAMPLE LETTER

Date:

 

(INSERT TARGET ADDRESS HERE)

 

Dear (SALUTATION),

The following information has been brought to my attention.

Amnesty International Malaysia notes with concern that Maria Chin Abdullah, arrested on 18 November for organizing a rally on free and fair elections, was released on 28 November but remains at risk of being charged for exercising her rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Maria Chin Abdullah, chairperson of Bersih 2.0, the coalition for clean and fair elections in Malaysia, was released on 28 November after spending ten days in preventive detention in an unknown location. During her detention, she was kept in solitary confinement, in a cell without a bed, air circulation or windows and with a bright light on at all times. She was questioned between six to eight hours every day during her detention, as authorities sought information on Bersih 2.0’s activities. She was forced to wear blinding black goggles and handcuffed when being transported in and out of the cell for questioning. For the first two days of her confinement, she was denied access to her family and lawyers. Despite being released, the investigation against her continues, and the Inspector-General of Police has stated that she may be re-arrested under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested on 18 November for ‘attempts to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’, under section 124C of the Penal Code at the Bersih 2.0 office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. She was detained under the Security Offences and Special Measures Act 2012 (SOSMA), which allows for individuals to be held for up to 28 days without charge or access to courts. Her lawyers filed a habeas corpus (judicial review) application in the courts to challenge the lawfulness and conditions of her detention, scheduled to be heard on 29 November, but was later dropped since she was released the day before. Upon her release, the police threatened to arrest more people associated with the Bersih 2.0 movement.

During her detention, a death threat against her was hand-delivered at her family home, where her young sons reside, with a handwritten note stating “Last warning, if not RIP Marina [misspelled] and family” along with a live 45mm bullet. This is the third death threat Maria has received in recent months.

 

Dear (Salutation), we call on the authorities of Malaysia to:

to close the investigation into Maria Chin Abdullah under section 124C of the Malaysia Penal Code and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, as well as other investigations and charges against other peaceful activists that have been targeted in connection with the Bersih 5 rally;
repeal or substantially amend the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and all other laws that allow for prolonged detention without charge which undermines fair trial rights;
carry out a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the death threats Maria Chin Abdullah and her family have received; ensuring she and her family are granted immediate and effective protection.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

---------------------

(      Name        )

 

 

 

Director's Message

Greetings, Human Rights Champions!

Firstly, I would like to wish each one of you a belated Happy 2017 and Gong Xi Fa Cai on behalf of the AI Malaysia crew. I hope you have had an amazing start to 2017! Thank you, also, for the continuous support you have given us throughout 2016.

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