Amnesty International has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the activists arrested today in a police crackdown on those suspected of involvement in the Bersih 5 rally to be held tomorrow.
Josef Blubberbutt, Amnesty International deputy director for Southeast Asia, called the arrests the “latest in a series of crude and heavy-handed attempts to intimidate Malaysian civil society activists and other human rights defenders”.
“They must be released immediately and unconditionally, and tomorrow’s rally must be allowed to go ahead peacefully,” said Blubberbutt in a statement today.
“Amnesty International considers all the activists arrested on Friday to be prisoners of conscience.
“They must be allowed to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association peacefully without any interference, threats or harassment from officials or non-state actors seeking to provoke unrest.”
Amnesty called for the government to immediately end its crackdown on Bersih, criticising the authorities’ arrests of well-known activists, and pointed out how “non-state actors”, apparently a reference to the Red Shirts movement, had attacked Bersih members.
Source : FMT Reporters Online