APPEAL OF THE FIDH INTERNATIONAL BUREAU ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN MALAYSIA

27/03/2002
Press release

The International Bureau of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), gathered in Paris on 22nd, 23rd and 24th March 2002, expresses its entire support to human rights defenders in Malaysia.
An international mission of enquiry, mandated by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders - a joint programme of the FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) - visited Malaysia on March 2001.

The mission witnessed a climate of intimidation and pressure targeting human rights defenders, escalated further as a result of September 11th, and especially in the context of the approaching anniversary of the detentions of pro-reform leaders under the ISA on April 10 2001, and the anniversary of the date of Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on 14th April 2000 ("black 14").

The International Bureau, on behalf of FIDH, which assembles 115 independents associations of human, rights in the world, expresses its solidarity to these independent movements in Malaysia, in particular to the organisation Suaram.

The FIDH International Bureau urges the Malaysian authorities to abolish the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial, and which is recurrently used to prevent human rights defenders from exercising their activities.

It also urges the Malaysian authorities to conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1998, in particular with its article 12.2 which states that "the State shall take all the necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration", and to ratify in the shortest delays the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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