Malaysia Crackdown: Global Bersih Condemns Arrest Of Activists By Police

For Immediate Release


GENEVA, 2 August 2015 — Global Bersih condemns the arrests and harassment of activists by Malaysia’s police, in the wake of the biggest corruption scandal and coverup in the nation’s history.

Global Bersih, the Geneva-based NGO network of Malaysians around the world, supports Malaysia’s Bersih 2.0’s recent call for a mass public rally this month (August) to demand Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak step down during the official investigation into the billion-dollar 1MDB scandal. Global Bersih backs Bersih 2.0’s call for urgent institutional reforms to be implemented immediately.

Youth leaders Adam Adli, Syukri Razab of Gabungan Anak Muda Demi Malaysia (Coalition of Youth for Malaysia) and Mandeep Singh who were arrested on Friday for expressing their rights should be released immediately without charge.

Former Malaysian Bar President and Global Bersih patron Ambiga Sreenevasan was also harassed by the police and detained for questioning that same day. Ambiga, who is also Bersih 2.0 co-founder and the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) chief, said the police should focus instead on “the prime minister, his cabinet ministers and all the MPs – what are they doing about the crisis facing this country?”.

On Saturday, 31 peaceful Demi Malaysia protestors, including a 14-year old minor, were arrested for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and are expected to be charged under the Penal Code’s section 124B.

Global Bersih is appalled at this ongoing threat to Malaysian democracy, which include serious allegations of the prime minister’s party buying elections, the sacking of investigators into the 1MDB corruption scandal, the dismantling of parliamentary inquiries, and this continued harassment of Malaysian civil society leaders and peaceful protestors. Global Bersih remains committed to a transparent and democratic Malaysian government, and will continue to support the urgent reforms advocated by Bersih 2.0.

“We will not be deterred from organising our solidarity rallies from taking place in cities around the world,” said Global Bersih President Colin Rajah in San Francisco.  “We have a moral obligation to support and stand with our families and friends back home who are putting themselves on the line for Malaysian democracy.”

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photo credit: The Malay Mail Online

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