3rd November 2017
Respect the personal privacy, rights and honour the safety of Ambiga
Global Bersih and SUARAM International strongly condemn the serious harassment and sinister threats hurled at respected human rights activist and lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan following disclosure of the defence and counterclaim in the ‘Abdul Hadi Awang P vs Clare Rewcastle’ suit filed in the UK.
Attempts to drag Ambiga Sreenevasan into the court case have been escalated into a frenzied campaign of personal attacks in government-controlled television and newspapers. Top leaders in the ruling party UMNO and the Islamist party PAS have called on her to “reveal her sources”, in what is clearly an orchestrated witch hunt. The barrage of personal insults and harassment from social media and online bloggers linked to the ruling party have been blatantly racist, sexist, sinister, defamatory and wholly unacceptable. Individuals claiming to be news reporters have been caught filming outside Ambiga Sreenevasan’s home, harassing those inside.
These are clearly targeted acts of intimidation, abuse and harassment of a potential witness or person connected to an ongoing legal case in the UK. Such conduct appears to be aimed at impeding and obstructing the course of justice in the above mentioned suit and may amount to contempt of the UK court.
These attacks by agents and allies of the Najib Razak government and PAS cannot be tolerated and must cease immediately. Instead of the harassment and intimidation of potential witnesses, the public focus must be on the defence and counterclaim of the above suit and the serious allegations of corruption and worse contained therein.
We call on Prime Minister Najib Razak and PAS leader Hadi Awang to speak out against all acts of intimidation and harassment, and to ensure all leaders, party members, bloggers and personalities linked to PAS and the ruling coalition cease these acts of harassment and intimidation with immediate effect. Like every Malaysian, Ambiga Sreenevasan’s personal privacy, rights and safety must be respected and upheld.
3rd November 2017