IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
GLOBAL BERSIH URGES THAT CHARGES AGAINST MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH BE DROPPED
Global Bersih is appalled at the charging of Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah on 3 November under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, for allegedly failing to give the police 10 days’ notice of the Bersih 4 rally.
Despite the Bersih 2.0 coalition having followed due process, even notifying the police of the rally 10 days beforehand, the police insisted on charging Maria.
The Bersih 2.0 chairperson will claim trial under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act, with the date set on December 11 for mention.
This follows Bersih 2.0 vice-chairperson Jannie Lasimbang’s similar charge in the Kota Kinabalu magistrate’s court on 21 October for allegedly failing to notify the police within 10 days of the rally.
The Bersih 4 rally saw the participation of over 500,000 Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak, and in 90 cities abroad in solidarity with Bersih 2.0 and Global Bersih. All the gatherings expressed in a peaceful and orderly manner the five core demands of Bersih 4, under the leadership of Maria Chin Abdullah.
By prosecuting and charging her, the authorities hope to intimidate and stifle the people’s right to protest and dissent, even as the Najib government fails to keep the public’s trust and faith.
We urge the authorities to heed the call of several international organisations, including the International Commission of Jurists and Amnesty International to drop charges against Maria Chin Abdullah as the charges against her are unnecessary and outrageous.
Global Bersih also continues to support Maria and Bersih 2.0’s work towards a cleaner electoral system and strengthened institutions in Malaysia.
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