Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the move by the police and the Attorney General to charge three opposition leaders from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in relation to Bersih 3.0 rally supported by more than 250,000 people around the world.
De facto leader of PKR, Anwar Ibrahim; PKR deputy president Azmin Ali; and PKR activist Badrul Hisham Shaharin, were charged today under section 4(2) (c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for participating in the Bersih 3.0 rally and allegedly violating Magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir’s order dated 26 April 2012 which prohibits gathering at Dataran Merdeka and the area bordering Jalan Sultan Hishammuddin, Jalan Raja and Jalan Kelab.
If found guilty, the trio may be liable to a fine of RM10, 000.
SUARAM views this selective prosecution against the three leaders as arbitrary and politically motivated and questions the credibility of the police investigation of the police force was the main violators of human rights on 28 April 2012.
SUARAM is against the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) as it curtails the fundamental freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. Street protest is a norm in democratic nations as a method for people to express their views. If the government is able to accept the revolution in Egypt and other countries which were initiated from street protests, why is the government unable to accept peaceful street protest in their own country?
This clearly shows the hypocrisy of the government’s popular international approach indirect contradiction with its domestic practices i.e closing the space of dissent in the name of national security.
SUARAM urge the charges against those exercising their fundamental rights be dropped immediately and allow SUHAKAM to do an independent and impartial investigation on BERSIH 3.0.
If Prime Minister Najib Razak is sincere about reforming, these reforms must be made in the spirit of protecting and promoting human rights values.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)