Sunday, April 25, 2010

SUHAKAM says it is a violation of Human Rights - now what? Stop here or fight on until justice is done?

SUHAKAM - Malaysian Human Rights Commission sometimes do have public inquiries...but most of the time, there is no public inquiry because the majority of the Commissioners vote against it...Why?...because they are scared...because they really are not human rights persons (or interested in HR)...because they are pro-government...because it is not a 'popular' issue (when it comes to HR, the amount of media coverage or popularity really should not matter...)

In the case of harassment, wrongful arrest & detention of lawyers representing their clients...SUHAKAM seem to have got it right....BUT...where do we go from here? What happens to the police officers involved? Will these victims of human rights be at the very least compensated? Will the government, in reliance of SUHAKAM's report, do the needful against the perpetrators of the human rights abuse....and compensate the victims since it was the police (public servants - goverment servants) who were the violators of human rights? Do we who fight for human rights stop here...or do we push for justice...??

KUALA LUMPUR: The arrest and detention of five Legal Aid Centre lawyers when they assisted their clients involved in an illegal assembly last year, was a clear violation of human rights, said Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

The commission found that the arrest under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 was not justified or necessary.

The lawyers were not present at the scene to participate in the cause of their clients, but were simply performing their duties as legal practitioners in defence of the 14 people arrested, said Suhakam in a 42-page decision read out by chairman Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the commission headquarters here yesterday.

On May 7 last year, lawyers Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Anuar, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Safwan were arrested at the precincts of the Brickfields police station and de­­tained overnight when they went to the station to assist 14 people who had earlier participated in a candle-light vigil. The group of 14 protested on the arrest of blogger Wong Chin Huat under the Sedition Act.

Suhakam felt the violation was mainly committed by Brickfields CID chief Deputy Supt Jude Pereira and Brickfields police chief Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid.

The commission had listened to testimonies by witnesses and viewing various video footage of the incident.

Suhakam, however, did not come up with any recommendation on disciplinary action on the two police officers.

The inquiry was conducted by a panel led by Muhammad Shafee and assisted by fellow commissioners Datuk Dr Michael Yeah Onn Kheng and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.- Star, 24/4/2010, Suhakam: Arrest of five lawyers a violation of human rights

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