Thursday, October 29, 2015

Deputy Minister Nur Jazlan reacts to HRW's “Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalisation of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia”

When allegations of violating human rights are raised, the correct approach is to RESPOND, and that means doing the needful to ensure that Malaysia is a country where human rights and justice are respected and promoted. If there are wrong statements of facts in the report, highlight these and provide the truth...If not, say thank you for highlighting these, we will consider it and act to ensure that human rights and justice are respected in Malaysia very very soon...

Sadly, our Barisan Nasional's response, it seems, more so of late under Prime Minister Najib has been to go after people that highlight wrongdoings, and so the Human Rights Watch's report title may be right - “Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalisation of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia” 

Well, below we see the summary of this report that Nur Jazlan reacted to... 

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has accused watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) of politicising allegations that the Malaysian government was clamping down on dissent by using repressive laws to silence critics. 
Sadly, he never said that anything stated in the report was untrue - all he said was that HRW was 'politicing allegations' - what does that mean?

He then says that HRW is not as critical about other countries. You do not attack people of highlighting wrongs or injustice in Malaysia by saying 'unfair' - please highlight issues in the US, Singapore, etc... That is so lame - the question is whether the report is true or false?

It is great that Malaysia has repealed the Internal Security Act (ISA) and EO - laws that provided for detention without trial....But not enough, there are still many unjust laws like the Sedition Act and the SOSMA. We will discuss POTA and POCA at a different time.


Global rights group politicising issues in Malaysia, says deputy home minister

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed questions the lack of attention paid by Human Rights Watchto the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay by the US government. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 28, 2015.Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed questions the lack of attention paid by Human Rights Watchto the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay by the US government. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 28, 2015. 
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has accused watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) of politicising allegations that the Malaysian government was clamping down on dissent by using repressive laws to silence critics.
He said the group's report (pic, left) was unfair as Malaysia made several reforms to improve freedom of expression by repealing the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for detention without trial, as well as the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

"Malaysia has shown commitment by repealing the ISA and the EO. This move has shown Malaysia is fair towards its citizens," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

"I think the report has been politicised by HRW. Countries like the United States have Guantanamo Bay, where they detain people for donkey's years but that's alright. They (HRW) have never harped on the issue." The New York-based watchdog released a report yesterday documenting Putrajaya’s alleged abuse of laws to criminalise peaceful expression and urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stop treating criticism as a crime.

Titled “Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalisation of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia”, the 145-page report accuses Najib of repeatedly breaking his promises to repeal repressive and draconian laws and also reminded him of his pledge to “uphold civil liberties” when he took office in April 2009.

HRW said the Najib administration, particularly since 2013, had used a range of broad and vaguely worded laws “to harass, investigate and arrest” individuals for peaceful expression.

The level of repression intensified since late last year amid increasing public criticism of Putrajaya’s treatment of former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, now serving jail time for sodomy, and over plans to impose the goods and services tax which was rolled out in April this year.

Although the ISA and EO were replaced with the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota) and Prevention of Crime Act (Poca), Nur Jazlan maintained that the newer laws were not repressive like its predecessors because of certain allocations.

"The difference between Pota and ISA is with ISA, you can only appeal to the minister, only he has the power and there's no right of review.

"Now under Pota, the minister is no longer involved but the board is and the suspects detained can ask the board to review their case for them to be released," he said.

"We had to introduce Poca because of the rising threat of organised and transnational crime. And Poca is also the same system as Pota, there is a board to administer it and the suspects can have their right of review for their release to the board."

The Pulai MP said that other countries had harsher laws, urging HRW to look into abuses of laws in those places as well.

"Not just in Western countries, but also in Singapore. Singapore still has ISA but they haven’t focused on Singapore as much as they focused on Malaysia.

"Even the US ignores them (HRW). Malaysia has not. We have made reforms, what else is not enough? They want us to remove everything, I’m sorry we can’t because of our multi-racial and multi-religious nature of our country," he said, adding that Malaysians knew how to manage their country "better than foreigners". – October 28, 2015.

The Human Rights Watch Report:-  “Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalisation of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia”


They are creating a culture of fear. If you engage in any talk of public interest, the police may come to your house, you may be arrested, taken to the police station, remanded. Even members of Parliament are treated that way.
—Yap Swee Seng, former executive director of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Kuala Lumpur, April 14, 2015
Freedom of expression and assembly in Malaysia are currently under attack, aided by the existence of broad and vaguely worded laws that the government can wield to arrest, investigate, and imprison its critics. The recent increase in use of laws that criminalize peaceful expression is a step backward for a country that had seemed to be making progress on the protection of rights. This report examines how the Malaysian government is using and abusing such laws, and the ways in which the laws themselves fall short of international standards.

In Prime Minister Najib Razak’s first term between 2009 and 2013, the Malaysian government rescinded several laws, including the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), which had been regularly used to restrict civil and political rights, including freedom of expression. During the campaign leading up to the 2013 elections, Najib promised to repeal the notorious Sedition Act as well. As long-time activist Hishamuddin Rais told Human Rights Watch:
When the ISA was abolished, there was a sense of freedom. I thought Malaysia was going in the right direction. When Najib promised to abolish the Sedition Act, I thought: “We have arrived. We are on the right path.”
That optimism has now evaporated. Faced with declining popularity and rising public discontent on a range of issues, the prime minister has responded by cracking down on critics and supporting new laws, such as the 2015 Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), that replicate many of the flaws in the laws that were repealed. In November 2014, Najib reneged on his promise to repeal the Sedition Act and announced that the law would instead "be strengthened and made more effective," with "a special clause to protect the sanctity of Islam, while other religions also cannot be insulted." In April 2015, the government pushed through amendments providing for harsher penalties and further restrictions on speech, particularly on social media.

The level of repression intensified in late 2014 and early 2015 as the government faced increasing public criticism about the treatment of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the imposition of a new goods and services tax. A spiraling corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whose board of advisors is chaired by Prime Minister Najib, led the government to block websites and suspend newspapers reporting on the scandal and to announce plans to strengthen its power to crack down on speech on the Internet.

While the original focus of the crackdown appeared to be mainly opposition politicians, as public criticism of the government has spread, students, journalists, civil society activists, and ordinary citizens have all been caught up in the wave of repression.

Student activist Adam Adli bin Abdul Halim, for example, has been arrested six times for participating in peaceful protests against the government and for calling for others to do the same. In September 2014, he was convicted of sedition for a speech protesting the 2013 general election and sentenced to one year in jail. He is currently on bail pending appeal, and is now facing a new charge of participating in an “unlawful street protest” in February and an investigation for “activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy” for his role in organizing a recent protest. Due to his activism he was suspended, and then effectively expelled, from his teacher training course at Sultan Idris Teacher Training College. He is currently studying law at a private institution.

Asked why he continues to speak out despite the risks, Adli responded:
It is a duty for us to speak out when the government tampers with the rule of law to keep themselves in power…. It is not about the result or what is to be accomplished in the short term. Protest is necessary to open up more democratic spaces…. Freedom of expression in Malaysia is under duress by the state. The authorities are clearly not in favor of the rights of free speech and expression.
Chua Tian Chang, vice-president of Malaysia’s opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) (People’s Justice Party), is also paying the price for speaking out about political issues. He is facing sedition charges in one case and is being investigated for sedition in another, while the government is appealing his acquittal of sedition charges in a third case. On August 12, 2014, fresh charges were brought against him under section 509 of the penal code for allegedly verbally abusing police officials when months earlier they seized his mobile phone and iPad to investigate one of his statements on social media. He was earlier acquitted of participating in an illegal protest, but is now under investigation for participating in a number of “unlawful assemblies” and for wearing a banned yellow t-shirt bearing the logo of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), a group that has been campaigning for electoral reform since 2012. Chua says the government’s actions are politically motivated:
For the authorities, everything I say is a problem.… If you go for peaceful protest, they will catch you for assembling. If you criticize government, they come after you for sedition.

Overly Restrictive Laws as a Tool for Repression

Since the end of colonial rule in 1957, Malaysia has been ruled by coalitions dominated by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). The current coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN) (National Front), has ruled since 1974. Throughout its more than 40 years in power, BN has used a wide range of overly broad and vaguely worded laws to harass and silence critics and political opponents. Some of these laws have been in place since Malaysia gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, while many others have been more recently adopted or amended.

Najib took office in April 2009 pledging to “uphold civil liberties” and exhibit “regard for the fundamental rights of the people,” but the use of broadly worded criminal laws to silence critics and civil society activists has increased dramatically since the 2013 national elections in which BN held onto a parliamentary majority but lost the popular vote. Since the run-up to that election, more than 200 people have been arrested or questioned by the police for doing nothing more than offering peaceful criticism of the authorities or the judiciary or peacefully exercising their right to freedom of assembly.

The weapon most frequently used in this crackdown, as the Adli and Chua cases illustrate, has been Malaysia’s notorious Sedition Act, which has been wielded against opposition politicians, civil society activists, journalists, academics, and ordinary citizens using social media.

In its efforts to silence critics, the government has also turned to broadly worded provisions of the penal code, including sections 504 and 505(b), which criminalize speech that leads to a breach of “public tranquility,” and section 499, which criminalizes speech injuring the reputation of another person, alive or dead.

The Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) has been used to limit the number of printed newspapers, suspend publication of newspapers that report on corruption, deter printing presses from printing books critical of the government, and even to ban the Bersih logo. The Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) has been used to block websites reporting on corruption, penalize radio stations for airing discussions of matters of public interest, and arrest and prosecute users of social media.

Those engaging in peaceful protest have been prosecuted under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) and section 143 of the penal code, which criminalizes “unlawful” assemblies, while some of those organizing or calling on people to attend peaceful rallies have been charged with or investigated for sedition. In 2015, confronted with increased public focus on allegations of corruption involving 1MDB, the government began threatening those speaking out about corruption with charges of “activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy” under sections 124B and 124C of the penal code. The government did not appear to understand the irony of using a law designed to protect democracy to censor critical speech.

Laws that impose criminal penalties for peaceful expression are of particular concern because of their chilling effect on free speech. As the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has stated, with such laws in place,
Individuals face the constant threat of being arrested, held in pretrial detention, subjected to expensive criminal trials, fines and imprisonment, as well as the social stigma associated with having a criminal record.
Many of the individuals Human Rights Watch interviewed referred to a “culture” or “climate” of fear in Malaysia. Fear leads to self-censorship, and self-censorship leads to a stifling of the political debate that is at the very core of a democratic society.

Targeting the Political Opposition

Members of the political opposition have long been a particular target of Malaysia’s more repressive laws, and that trend has continued during the government’s most recent crackdown. At least five opposition members of parliament have been charged under the Sedition Act for criticizing the government, government officials, or the judiciary since the elections, and at least three have been charged under other criminal laws. If convicted and sentenced to more than a year in prison or fined more than 2,000 Malaysian ringgit (RM) (approximately US$482), they will be disqualified from serving in parliament for five years after their release from any term of imprisonment. Opposition politicians serving in state assemblies and those playing leading roles in opposition political parties have also been targeted during the crackdown.

Prominent opposition figures faced sedition charges under Najib’s administration as early as 2009, when the prominent lawyer and MP Karpal Singh was charged with that offense. After a lull, during which there was hope that the law would be repealed, the government resumed aggressive use of the Sedition Act shortly after the 2013 elections, when PKR MP Tian Chua and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) MP Tamrin Ghafar were charged with sedition for speeches they made at a public rally protesting the outcome of the elections. In May 2014, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Vice President Teresa Kok was charged with sedition for her satirical Chinese New Year video “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014,” which depicts Kok as the host of a talk show in which her guests satirize political issues ranging from corruption to Malaysia’s crime rate. The crackdown intensified in August 2014, with five opposition politicians charged with criminal offenses during that month alone:
  • PKR Vice President and lawyer N. Surendran was charged with sedition twice, in both cases for statements he made about the sodomy case against his client Anwar Ibrahim;
  • Former Perak Chief Minister Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, from the opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, was charged with criminal defamation on August 25 for remarks he had made about Prime Minister Najib during the election campaign in April 2012;
  • Khalid Samad, a member of parliament from PAS, was charged with sedition on August 26 for remarks he made regarding the Selangor State Islamic Religious Council, a government body that advises the sultan of Selangor;
  • DAP Penang State Assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer was charged with sedition on August 27 for saying “celaka celaka UMNO” (“damn, damn UMNO”) to several state assemblymen of the United Malays National Organization during an assembly session in May 2014; and
  • PKR Secretary General Rafizi Ramli was charged on August 28 with violating section 504 of the penal code, which criminalizes “intentional insult with intent to breach the peace,” for a statement he made alleging that right wing groups who were staging protests in front of churches in Selangor were being orchestrated and supported by the UMNO.
The police have also investigated, and in many cases arrested and held in custody for several days, at least 20 opposition politicians since August 2014, some of them multiple times.

Targeting Civil Society

Activists and civil society groups who criticize the government have also come under increasing pressure. Student activists Adam Adli bin Abdul Halim and Safwan Anang and long-time civil society activist Hishamuddin Rais were all charged with sedition after speaking at the May 13, 2013, public meeting at which Tian Chua and Tamrin Ghafar also spoke. All three have since been convicted and are on bail pending appeal, and all have been subjected to further arrests and investigations for their involvement in protests against corruption and participation in the demonstrations that followed the February 2015 sodomy conviction of Anwar Ibrahim.

The decision by the Federal Court of Malaysia, on February 10, 2015, to uphold Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction and sentence led to an explosion of public criticism, followed by a concerted crackdown on those who spoke out. Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, was charged with a record nine counts of sedition on April 3, 2015 — one for each of nine tweets he sent on February 10 criticizing the verdict. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 43 years in prison.

Comments on the government’s handling of religious issues have also resulted in arrests and sedition charges. In one notable example, Eric Paulsen, the executive director of Lawyers for Liberty, was charged with sedition on February 5, 2015, for a tweet that criticized the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), a government agency, for issuing sermons that allegedly promoted extremism. Paulsen was subjected to a frenzied media campaign that included death threats, and was accused of insulting Islam. As Paulsen himself noted in a tweet responding to the hate campaign: “My statement was referring to JAKIM as a government agency. Criticism of JAKIM should not be construed as insulting Islam.”

Paulsen was arrested for sedition a second time on March 22, 2015, in connection with a tweet that criticized efforts by the state government in Kelantan to introduce Sharia-based punishments.

Many other civil society activists have been investigated, arrested, and harassed for exercising their rights to freedom of expression or freedom of assembly.

Targeting the Media

The media have not been immune from the crackdown on peaceful political commentary. Officials have denied licenses required under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) to news outlets viewed as critical of the government, and government agents have threatened to withdraw printing licenses from presses that publish books and other material that officials dislike. The PPPA was also used to suspend publication of two newspapers for three months for reporting on the allegations of corruption involving the prime minister and 1MDB.

According to Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder Steven Gan, the online news portal Malaysiakini routinely has to deal with lawsuits, as well as other forms of harassment:
One time we published a letter criticizing UMNO. The police came and asked who wrote the letter, which was under pseudonym. We protect identity to encourage free opinion. We refused to provide details. The police confiscated our computers…. We have the police come in at least once a month. It has become routine really. Someone files a complaint and they want a statement.
The government has even initiated sedition investigations in at least two cases in which journalists were merely reporting the news. In March 2015, three editors, the chief executive, and the publisher of The Malaysian Insider (TMI), an online news portal, were arrested for sedition and violation of the Communications and Multimedia Act. Their “offense” was to report that the Malaysian Council of Rulers had rejected a proposal to amend federal law to allow the implementation of Sharia-based punishments in the state of Kelantan – a report which the Council of Rulers denied.

Targeting Social Media Users

The government crackdown on speech in Malaysia has affected not only politicians and activists, but also ordinary citizens, particularly those who use social media. As the project coordinator for Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), a highly respected Malaysian human rights organization that has been documenting the increased use of the Sedition Act, observed:
Last year they started with politicians, then branched out to lecturers and activists. People started realizing that it affects not just political people but also ordinary people.
According to Suaram documentation, a number of ordinary citizens were charged with sedition in 2014 for statements made on Facebook or other social media, while many more were subjected to investigations and arrests. J. Gopinath, a 28-year-old engineering assistant, was charged with sedition on June 19, 2014, based on a 2012 Facebook posting that was viewed as insulting to Islam. Although he had been arrested shortly after the posting, he was not charged until after the start of the post-election crackdown. Despite the fact that his post was in response to a post insulting his Hindu faith, the individual who posted the video to which he was responding was never prosecuted. He was convicted and fined RM 5,000 (US$1,209).

The 2015 amendments to the Sedition Act seem specifically designed to give the government more control over social media and the Internet. These amendments make it an offense to “propagate” or “cause to be published” seditious material, and enable the government both to order the deletion of supposedly seditious material and to prohibit the person who posted that material from having access to “any electronic device.”

Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly

Faced with rising public opposition, the Malaysian government is also cracking down on individuals involved in protests. The government initially did so by invoking section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), which makes it a criminal offense to hold a public assembly without giving the government 10 days’ advance notice. Despite the fact that this provision was held unconstitutional by the Malaysian Court of Appeal on April 25, 2014, the government continued to invoke section 9(5) when arresting protesters until as late as April 2015, while also adding charges of “unlawful assembly” under section 143 of the penal code. 

A series of peaceful protests held in the wake of the Federal Court conviction of Anwar Ibrahim (the “KitaLawan” rallies) resulted in the arrest of numerous opposition politicians and activists, many of whom were arrested at night and held in custody for several days. As Rafizi Ramli, one of the opposition politicians who has been repeatedly arrested and held by the police points out: “The police are increasingly using that route to frighten, harass, and keep people away from important functions.”

A demonstration on March 23, 2015, at the Kuala Lumpur Customs House intended to raise questions about the imposition of the new goods and services tax resulted in the arrest of 79 people, including S. Arutchelvan, then secretary general of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) (Socialist Party of Malaysia). On April 23, 2015, 50 of those activists and politicians were charged under section 447 of the penal code and section 21(d)(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act for criminal trespass and not abiding by an order to disperse. A largely peaceful rally against the goods and services tax, held on May 1, 2015, resulted in another wave of arrests, including that of prominent lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasen, who was detained for sedition and illegal assembly and held overnight.

Public indignation at reports implicating Prime Minister Najib in the 1MDB scandal and at the government’s response to that reporting led to an August 1 protest organized by student activists calling for Najib to resign. A much larger 34-hour protest, organized by Bersih and held on August 29 and 30, also called for Najib’s resignation or for a vote of no confidence against him, and for a host of institutional reforms to tackle corruption. Despite the fact that both protests were peaceful, the organizers were accused of “activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and arrested or summoned for questioning, as were some of the participants. No charges related to those protests have yet been filed.

Abusive Police Tactics and Selective Prosecution

The use of overly broad laws to crack down on dissent has been accompanied by a disturbing use of aggressive tactics that seem designed to harass and frighten those critical of the government. Instead of asking government critics to come to the police station to make a statement, the police arrest them, often at night, and sometimes with threatening and unnecessary displays of force. After the KitaLawan assembly held on March 28, 2015, for example, six carloads of police came to the house of PAS MP Khalid Samad at 3:20 a.m. the following morning to arrest him for sedition and unlawful assembly. Many of the officers were carrying M16 assault rifles. He was released from custody at 9:30 p.m. He has not yet been charged with an offense.

In some cases, the police appear to be using arrest and remand as a form of preventive detention. In the days preceding the KitaLawan rally, the police arrested at least four activists and opposition politicians involved with the rallies. Rafizi Ramli and Hishamuddin Rais were both arrested on March 27 and held until after the conclusion of the March 28 rally. Rais was seized by a group of men wearing plainclothes as he got out of a taxi the evening of March 27: “As I leaned forward to pay the taxi they grabbed me. One put his arm around my neck and pulled me, squeezing my neck. They were not wearing uniforms and did not identify themselves.”

After being driven around Kuala Lumpur for a while, he was finally taken to the Dang Wangi police station and detained overnight. The following day, the police asked that he be remanded for four days so that they could complete their investigation into violations of section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act and section 143 of the penal code. He was finally released at the end of his remand. While he had not been charged as of the time of his interview, he noted that “at any time they can trigger this bomb.”

For opposition figures and activists, or those perceived as such, the police frequently request the maximum remand of four days even where there is no apparent justification for doing so. Hishamuddin Rais noted that when he was finally questioned on the last day of his four day remand, after three days during which no investigation appeared to take place, “they asked very little: just the basics like name, age, and profession.”

Cases involving individuals perceived as sympathetic to the ruling coalition are handled quite differently, if they are pursued at all. When Mashitah Ibrahim, a former deputy minister in the ruling coalition, made a false claim that Malaysians of Chinese descent were “burning Qurans,” she was not arrested or remanded, but simply asked to come in and give a statement. The inconsistent treatment by the police of those perceived as pro-opposition and those perceived as pro-government creates a troubling appearance of bias in the handling of criminal cases.

Key Recommendations

Malaysia is an active member of the United Nations and, in October 2014, was reelected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council after a 15 year hiatus. The country has also served three terms on the UN Human Rights Council and has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, the official website of the Malaysian attorney-general states that Malaysia, “by virtue of being a member [of the UN], has subscribed to the philosophy, concepts and norms provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which sets out the minimum and common standard of human rights for all peoples and all nations.”[1]

The current repression of critical speech makes a mockery of those affirmations. If Malaysia wants to be taken seriously as a rights-respecting member of the United Nations, it must bring its laws and policies into line with international norms and standards, including by implementing the following recommendations:

To the Prime Minister and the Government of Malaysia

  • Develop a clear plan and timetable for the repeal or amendment of laws as recommended at the end of this report and, where legislation is to be amended, consult thoroughly with Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) and civil society groups in a transparent and public way;
  • Drop all prosecutions and close all investigations based on peaceful expression or  peaceful assembly. At a minimum, immediately drop all investigations and charges of sedition based on criticism of judicial decisions, the government, government decisions or government bodies in light of the parliament’s decision, in the 2015 amendments to the Sedition Act, to delete such criticism from the scope of that law;
  • Establish a clear policy that participation in peaceful assemblies should never be the basis for charges under sections 143, 124B or 124C of the penal code;
  • Instruct all police departments that it is their duty to facilitate peaceful assemblies, not to hinder them. Persons and groups who are organizing assemblies or rallies should be permitted to hold their events within sight and sound of their intended audience, and the police should take appropriate steps to protect the safety of all participants; and
  • Instruct all police departments to avoid late night or evening arrests of persons charged with crimes unless necessary to prevent flight or the destruction of evidence and to permit individuals to appear voluntarily to give a statement unless there is a clear and compelling reason to believe that an individual will not comply with a police summons relating to an investigation.
Source:- Human Rights Watch Website

NOTE:- The above is but the summary of the report, go read the full report at

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