DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 6 November 2015
Kuala Lumpur – Hari ini, barisan peguam Anwar Ibrahim mengeluarkan Pendapat No. 22/2015 oleh Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari PBB (UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)(UNWGAD), yang sebulat suara mendapati Anwar dipenjarakan secara haram, dan melanggar undang-undang antarabangsa.
Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari mengeluarkan pendapat berikut: Pemenjaraan Saudara (Anwar) Ibrahim adalah arbitrari. . . mengambil kira semua hal dalam kes tersebut, Kumpulan Kerja ini berpendapat bahawa jalan untuk membetulkan keadaan adalah untuk membebaskan Saudara (Anwar) Ibrahim dengan serta merta, dan memastikan hak-hak politik beliau yang dirampas oleh kerana pemenjaraan beliau ini dikembalikan.
“Saya amat bersyukur dengan gesaan Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa bersatu kepada kerajaan Malaysia untuk membebaskan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” kata YB Nurul Izzah Anwar. “Pendirian tegas sebegini bersolidariti bersama-sama Datuk Seri Anwar menghantar sebuah mesej yang jelas kepada Perdana Menteri, Najib Razak, dan memastikan kemerosotan hak-hak asasi manusia yang berlaku di bawah kepimpinan beliau tidak diabaikan oleh dunia,” tambah beliau.
Kumpulan Kerja ini merupakan sebuah badan bebas yang dilantik oleh Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB, dan pada masa ini terdiri daripada pakar daripada Australia, Benin, Mexico, Korea Selatan dan Ukraine. Ianya diberikan mandat untuk mempertimbangkan dan mengeluarkan pendapat mengenai kes-kes penahanan arbitrari. Kerajaan Malaysia memegang kerusi Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB pada tahun 2006 hingga 2009, dan 2010 hingga 2013. Kerajaan Malaysia wajib mematuhi dapatan PBB ini serta cadangan yang diberikan.
Datuk Seri Anwar, mantan Ketua Pembangkang dan seorang bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri dipenjarakan kerana beliau mencabar hegemoni politik UMNO dan Perdana Menteri Najib Razak. Datuk Seri Anwar memimpin pakatan parti-parti pembangkang pelbagai bangsa dan agama untuk memenangi 52 peratus daripada undi popular di kalangan rakyat Malaysia pada pilihan raya umum pada tahun 2013.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berada dalam keadaan kesakitan sepanjang penahanan beliau, yang bermula pada Februari 2015, berikutan kecederaan yang dialami pada bahu kanan beliau. Walaupun beliau memerlukan perhatian dan rawatan perubatan dengan segera, Datuk Dr. Jeyaindran Sinnadurai yang merupakan Doktor yang dilantik oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri untuk memantau Anwar, berulangkali menafikan rawatan yang perlu diberikan kepada Anwar, dan yang paling kritikal, rekomendasi menjalani rawatan fisioterapi setiap minggu.
Fisioterapi secara intensif telah dicadangkan semenjak bulan Mac lagi oleh doktor ortopedik yang akan mengurangkan kesakitan dan mengekalkan mobiliti dan kekuatan otot, tetapi telah acapkali ditangguhkan atas arahan Dr Jeyaindran. Kesannya, kecederaan dan kesakitan yang dialami oleh Anwar meningkat, yang mana Dr Jeyaindran hanya memberikan ubat tahan sakit, bukannya memastikan fisioterapi intensif di hospital buat Anwar. Oleh kerana campurtangan politik dan gangguan tidak professional oleh Dr Jeyaindran, pilihan untuk rawatan pembedahan untuk Anwar Ibrahim juga amat terhad sekiranya Dr Jeyaindran masih lagi membuat keputusan berkenaan penjagaan sebelum dan selepas pembedahan.
Selain daripada penafian rawatan perubatan termasuk fisioterapi intensif yang diperlukan Datuk Seri Anwar, beliau jua berhadapan dengan halangan-halangan yang lain. Semenjak dua bulan lepas, akses beliau kepada barisan peguam dihadkan kepada 1 jam seminggu walaupun beliau pada masa ini mempunyai sebanyak 16 kes sivil, jenayah dan syariah yang sedang dijalankan. Halangan ini merupakan pencabulan terhadap hak-hak asasi beliau seperti yang diperuntukkan di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Pejabat Suruhanjaya Tinggi Hak Asasi Manusia, Ahli-ahli Parlimen ASEAN bagi Hak Asasi Manusia, Kesatuan Parlimen Antarabangsa, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Persekutuan Antarabangsa untuk Hak Asasi Manusia (FIDH), dan pemimpin dunia seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia BJ Habibie , bekas Turki Presiden Abdullah Gül, dan bekas Naib Presiden Al Gore dari Amerika Syarikat, antara lain, turut menggesa pembebasan beliau tanpa syarat.
Kami juga menggesa supaya Anwar Ibrahim diberi rawatan perubatan mengikut pilihannya – bebas dari sebarang campur tangan politik yang akan menghalang penjagaan sebelum dan pasca pembedahan dan memberikan kesan negatif* terhadap kualiti hidup beliau. Dia mesti dibebaskan segera, selaras dengan penemuan UNWGAD.
A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released Monday by his family.
Anwar, 68, was jailed in February for five years after earlier being convicted for sodomising a former male aide. He denies the charge, calling it a frame-up by Malaysia’s long-ruling government to halt recent opposition political gains.
The opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Anwar’s imprisonment was “arbitrary”, that he was denied a fair trial, and was jailed for political reasons.
“The Working Group considers that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr. Ibrahim immediately, and ensure that his political rights that were removed based on his arbitrary detention be reinstated,” said the opinion, dated September 15.
It also said Anwar’s treatment in prison violates international prohibitions against “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
Anwar’s family has complained that he is being held in a filthy cell with only a thin foam mattress despite chronic back trouble, and has been denied adequate medical care for a host of ailments include erratic blood pressure and a shoulder ailment.
“I am deeply grateful that the United Nations has called for Anwar’s release,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar, the former opposition leader’s daughter and a member of parliament.
“Its strong stance in solidarity with my father sends a clear and unequivocal message to Prime Minister Najib Razak, and ensures that the sharp decline in human rights under his administration will not go unnoticed.”
No immediate reaction was seen from Najib’s government.
The UN working group is a five-member body currently comprised of experts from Australia, Benin, Mexico, South Korea, and Ukraine.
The case is the second such disputed conviction for Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who was ousted from the ruling party in a late 1990s power struggle and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely viewed as politically motivated.
After his release in 2004, he helped unite Malaysia’s previously divided opposition into a formidable alliance.
His latest conviction has been criticised by the United States – which said it raised questions over rule of law – as well as other nations and international human rights groups.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy charges were political motivated to discredit him, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which comes under the UN Human Rights Council, has concluded that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s detention was arbitrary, and that his sodomy charges were political motivated to discredit him.
This comes after the working group considered persuasive evidence which was not contested by the government despite given over two months to do so.
Among the basis of the working group findings, it concluded that Mr Anwar was denied access to a fair trial, and that there was no due process in court – the judge was biased, including chief prosecutor, as well as the haste of the appeal hearing and sentencing.
The working group has requested the Malaysian government to immediately release Mr Anwar and reinstate all his political rights.
Mr Anwar, 68, was found guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan in early 2015. It is his second conviction since 2000; his first conviction was overturned in 2004 after six years in jail.
Mr Anwar was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment this time, and was subsequently disqualified as a Member of Parliament in March.
M ereka sedang mewujudkan budaya ketakutan. Sekiranya kamu me/ibatkan diri dalam mana-ma na perbincangan mengenai kepentingan awam, pol is akan datang ke rumah kamu, kamu mungkin ditangkap, dibawa ke balai polis, direman. Ahli-ahli Parliamen pun diperlakukan sedemikian.
-Yap Swee Seng, mantan pengarah eksekutif Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Kuala Lumpur, 14 April 2015
Kebebasan bersuara dan berhimpun di Malaysia kini terancam, dibantu oleh kewujudan undang undang yang sengaja dibahasakan dengan luas dan samar-samar dan dipergunakan oleh pihak kerajaan untuk menangkap, menyoalsiasat, dan memenjarakan pengkritik-pengkritiknya. Penggunaan undang-undang secara berleluasa untuk menjenayahkan hak bersuara secara aman sejak kebelakangan ini adalah suatu langkah mundur bagi sebuah negara yang sebelum ini seolah olahnya melangkah maju dalam perlindungan hak-hak asasi. Laporan ini memeriksa bagaimana kerajaan Malaysia menggunakan dan menyalahgunakan undang-undang terse but, dan bagaimana undang-undang itu sendiri tidak mencapai piawaian antarabangsa.
Semasa penggal pertama Perdana Menteri Najib Razak (sepanjang tahun-tahun 2009 hingga 2013), kerajaan Malaysia telah memansuhkan beberapa akta, termasuk Akta l<eselamatan Dalam Negara (AKDN) yang zalim, yang sering digunakan untuk menyekat hak-hak sivil dan politik, termasuk hak bersuara. Sepanjang kempen pilihanraya 2013, Najib telah berjanji untuk turut memansuhkan Akta Hasutan. Sebagaimana aktivis lama Hishamuddin Rais memaklumkan Human Rights Watch:
Apabita /SA dimansuhkan, wujudnya rasa kebebasan. Saya fikirkan Malaysia bergerak ke arah yang benar. Apabila Najib menjanjikan pemansuhan Akta Hasutan, saya pikir: “Kita sudah tiba. Kita dijatan yang benar.”
Sikap optimistik itu kini lenyap. Apabila berhadapan dengan populariti yang menjunam serta ketidakpuashatian orang ramai yang kian memuncak atas pelbagai isu, perdana menteri telah membalas dengan mengambil tindakan keras terhadap pengkritik dan dengan menyokong undang undang baru, seperti Akta Pencegahan l<eganasan (API<), yang meniru kebanyakan kelemahan yang wujud dalam undang-undangyang telah dimansuhkan itu. Pada November 2014, Najib mengingkari janjinya untuk memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dan telah mengisytiharkan bahawa undang-undang itu sebaliknya boleh “diperkuatkan dan dijadikan lebih berkesan,” dengan “kewujudan klausa khas untuk melindungi kesucian Islam, manakala lain-lain agama turut tidak boleh dihina.” Pada April 2015, kerajaan telah mendesak-luluskan pindaan yang memperuntukkan hukuman yang lebih berat serta sekatan tambahan terhadap kebebasan bersuara, terutamanya di media sosial.
Tahap penindasan telah meningkat di sekitar lewat 2014 dan awal 2015 apabila kerajaan menghadapi kritikan dari orang awam terhadap cara mantan ketua pembangkang Anwar Ibrahim diperlakukan serta pengenaan cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan yang baru. Skandal rasuah yang semakin berlingkar-lingkar melibatkan syarikat koprat milik kerajaan 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), yang mana lembaga penasihatnya dipengerusikan Perdana Menteri Najib, telah menyebabkan kerajaan menyekat beberapa laman web serta menggantung surat khabar yang melaporkan skandal tersebut, malah mereka mengumumkan rancangan untuk memperkuatkan kuasa untuk mengambil tindakan keras terhadap kebebasan bersuara di Internet.
Walaupun pada asalnya fokus tindakan keras adalah terhadap ahli-ahli politik pembangkang, setelah kritikan awam terhadap kerajaan menjadi semakin lantang, pelajar-pelajar, wartawan-wartawan, aktivis masyarakat sivil, dan orang awam turut menjadi mangsa gelombang penindasan ini.
Aktivis pelajar Adam Adli bin Abdul Halim, contohnya, telah ditahan sebanyak enam kali kerana mengambil bahagian dalam protes-prates aman terhadap kerajaan dan mengajak orang lain turut menyertainya. Pada September 2014, beliau telah disabitkan atas kesalahan hasutan bagi suatu ucapan yang dibuatnya dalam membantah pilihanraya am 2013 dan telah dihukum satu tahun penjara. Pada ketika ini, beliau bebas atas ikat jamin sementara menunggu rayuan, dan kini menghadapi pertuduhan baru kerana melibatkan diri dalam “prates jalanan haram” pada bulan Februari serta menghadapi siasatan bagi pertuduhan “aktiviti menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen” atas peranan yang beliau mainkan dalam penganjuran satu prates baru-baru ini. Beliau telah digantung dan sejurus itu dibuang dari kursus latihan pengajar beliau di Kolej Latihan Guru Sultan Idris disebabkan aktivismnya itu. Beliau kini mengikuti pengajian bidang undang undang di sebuah institusi swasta.
Apabila disoal mengapa beliau terus bersuara walaupun berhadapan risiko sedemikian, Adli membalas:
la merupakan suatu tanggu ngjawab bagi kita bersuara apabila kerajaan menggugat kedaulatan undang-undang untuk memastikan mereka terus berkuasa …. Bukan hasil atau apa yang boteh dicapai dalam jangkamasa pendek yang penting. Prates adalah perlu untuk membu ka ruang demokrasi … Kebebasan bersuara di Malaysia kini diancam oleh pihak kerajaan. }etas sekali piha k berkuasa tidak berpihak kepada hak- hak kebebasan bersuara.
Chua Tian Chang, naib-presiden parti pembangkang Malaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), juga menjadi mangsa kerana lantang bersuara mengenai isu-isu politik. Beliau dikenakan pertuduhan hasutan dalam satu kes dan sedang disiasat untuk pertuduhan hasutan untuk kes satu lagi, sementara pihak kerajaan sedang merayu terhadap pembebasan beliau dari pertuduhan hasutan dalam kes ketiga. Pada 12 Ogos 2014, pertuduhan baru telah dibawa terhadapnya di bawah seksyen 509 kanun keseksaan kerana didakwa melakukan penderaan lisan terhadap pegawai pegawai polis yang berlaku beberapa bulan sebelum itu apabila mereka merampas telefon bimbit serta iPad beliau untuk menyiasat salah satu dari kenyataannya di media sosial. Sebelum itu beliau telah dibebaskan dari pertuduhan menyertai protes haram, tetapi kini di bawah siasatan untuk penyertaannya dalam beberapa “perhimpunan haram” dan kerana memakai kemeja-T kuningyang telah diharamkan yang mempunyai lambang Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih), sebuah kumpulan yang berkempen untuk penambahbaikan pilihanraya sejak 2012. Menurut Chua, tindakan kerajaan adalah bermotivasikan politik:
Bagi pihak berkuasa, apa sahaja yang saya cakap merupakan masalah … Kalau kamu pegi ke prates aman, mereka tangkap kamu kerana berkumpu l . Ka/au kamu mengkritik kerajaan, mereka buru kamu kerana hasutan .
Penggunaan Undang-Undang Yang Terlampau Ketat sebagai Alat Penindasan
Semenjak berakhirnya penjajahan pada tahun 1957, Malaysia telah diperintah oleh suatu gabungan yang didominasi parti United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Gabungan terkini, Barisan Nasional (BN), telah berkuasa semenjak tahun 1974. Sepanjang tempoh 40 tahun berkuasa, BN telah menggunakan pelbagai undang-undang yang sengaja dibahasakan dengan luas dan samar-samar untuk mengganggu dan mendiamkan pengkritik serta pembangkang politiknya. Beberapa undang-undang tersebut telah wujud semenjak Malaysia memperolehi kemerdekaannya
dari United Kingdom pada tahun 1957, sementara banyak undang-undang lain telahpun diwujudkan atau dipinda baru-baru ini.
Najib ketika menyandang jawatan pada April 2009 telah memberi ikrar untuk “menegakkan kebebasan sivil ” serta untuk “menghormati hak-hak asasi rakyat,” tetapi penggunaan undang undang jenayah yang dibahasakan dengan terlalu luas untuk mendiamkan pengkritik dan aktivis masyarakat sivil telah meningkat dengan dramatik semenjak pilihanraya tahun 2013, di mana BN masih memenangi majoriti parlimen tetapi gaga! mendapat undi popular. Di saat-saat menjelang pilihanraya, lebih dari 200 orang telah ditahan dan disoalsiasat oleh pihak polis hanya kerana melontarkan kritikan terhadap pihak berkuasa atau badan kehakiman ataupun melaksanakan hak mereka untuk berhimpun secara aman.
Senjata yang paling kerap digunakan dalam tindakan keras ini, seperti yang ditunjukkan dalam kes Adli dan Chua, adalah peruntukkan yang paling terkenal di Malaysia: Akta Hasutan, yang telah diacukan terhadap ahli-ahli politik pembangkang, aktivis masyarakat sivil, wartawan, ahli akademik, dan rakyat biasa yang menggunakan media sosial.
Dalam usahanya mendiamkan pengkritik, pihak kerajaan turut menggunakan peruntukkan kanun keseksaan yang juga dibahasakan dengan luas, termasuk seksyen-seksyen 504 dan 505(b), yang mengharamkan ucapan yang mengarah kepada pelanggaran “keamanan awam,” dan seksyen 499, yang mengharamkan ucapan yang merosakkan nama baik seseorang , samada hidup atau sudah mati.
Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan telah digunakan untuk menyekat beberapa akhbar cetak, menggantung penerbitan suratkhabar yang melaporkan perlakuan rasuah, mencegah mesin cetak dari mencetak buku-buku yang mengkritik kerajaan, dan turut mengisytiharkan pengharaman logo Bersih. Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia (AKM) telah digunakan untuk menghalang laman-laman web yang melaporkan rasuah, menghukum stesen radio yang menyiarkan perbincangan atas perkara-perkara hal-ehwal kepentingan awam, dan menahan serta menghukum pengguna pengguna media sosial.
Mereka yang melibatkan diri dalam protes aman telah didakwa di bawah Akta Perhimpunan Aman dan seksyen 143 Kanun Keseksaan, yang menjenayahkan perhimpunan “haram”, sementara mereka yang mengaturkan atau mengajak orang menghadiri perhimpunan aman telah didakwa atau disoalsiasat atas tuduhan hasutan. Pada tahun 2015, apabila berhadapan dengan fokus awam yang semakin meningkat terhadap pertuduhan rasuah melibatkan 1MDB, kerajaan telah mengancam mereka yang bersuara lantang terhadap rasuah dengan pertuduhan “aktiviti-aktiviti yang menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen” di bawah seksyen-seksyen 124(b) dan 124(c) kanun keseksaan. Pihak kerajaan nampaknya tidak sedar betapa ironinya kegunaan undang-undang yang diwujudkan bagi melindungi demokrasi untuk tujuan menyekat percakapan kritis.
Paling membimbangkan adalah undang-undang yang mengenakan hukuman jenayah kerana ini memberi kesan yang menggerunkan terhadap kebebasan bersuara. Sepertimana yang dinyatakan oleh rapporteur khas UN bagi promosi dan perlindungan hak-hak kebebasan berpendapat dan bersuara, dengan kewujudan undang-undang tersebut:
lndividu-individu menghadapi ancaman yang berterusan bagi risiko ditangkap, ditahan dalam tahanan pra-bicara, dikenakan perbicaraan jenayah, denda dan pemenjaraan yang memakan belanja ya ng banyak, serta stigma sosial kerana mempu nyai suatu rekod jenayah.
Ramai di antara individu-individu yang ditemubual Human Rights Watch telah merujuk kepada kewujudan suatu “budaya” atau “suasana” ketakutan di Malaysia. Ketakutan membawa kepada penapisan diri, dan penapisan diri membawa kepada tekanan dalam perdebatan politik yang merupakan teras suatu masyarakat demokratik.
Menyasarkan Pembangkang Politik
Ahli-ahli politik dari pihak pembangkang sudah lama menjadi sasaran undang-undang yang lebih menindas di Malaysia, dan trend ini telah berterusan dalam tindakan keras yang diambil oleh pihak kerajaan baru-baru ini. Sekurang-kurangnya lima ahli parlimen pembangkang telah dikenakan pertuduhan di bawah Akta Hasutan untuk mengkritik pihak kerajaan, pegawai kerajaan, atau badan kehakiman semenjak pilihanraya, dan sekurang-kurangnya tiga orang lagi telah dikenakan pertuduhan di bawah undang-undang jenayah lain. Sekiranya disabitkan dan dijatuhkan hukuman melebihi satu tahun penjara atau dikenakan denda melebihi RM2,ooo (kira-kira US$484), mereka terus tidak layak untuk berkhidmat di Parlimen untuk tempoh lima tahun selepas dilepaskan dari penjara. Ahli-ah Ii politik pembangkang yang berkhidmat di dewan undangan negeri dan mereka yang memegang peranan utama dalam parti-parti politik pembangkang turut menjadi sasaran dalam tindakan keras tersebut.
From : Legal Monitor Worldwide.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim former opposition leader no longer faces a charge for participating in the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012, after the Court of Appeal decided that his appeal challenging the constitutionality of the charge was a non-issue since an order prohibiting the demonstration at Dataran Merdeka was defective.
The appellate court’s three man bench chaired by judge Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said Anwar’s bid to challenge the constitutionality of the charge brought against him was not sustainable because a magistrate court order that prohibited the Bersih 3.0 rally at Dataran Merdeka was defective.
Anwar had previously challenged the constitutionality of the charge under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 before the High Court but it was refused, and he then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Ramkarpal Singh, who appeared for Anwar, told reporters it was impossible to charge the former opposition leader for the same offence.
The magistrate’s order, dated April 26, 2012, had prohibited any assembly at Dataran Merdeka from April 28 to May 1, 2012.
Another Court of Appeal bench led by Datuk Linton Albert then set aside the magistrate’s order on grounds it was ill-conceived in January 2014.
Subsequently, the Sessions court last year gave Anwar and five others a discharge not amounting to acquittal on the charges under the PAA in relation to the rally.
The then Sessions court judge Ahmad Bache said he found the charges defective following Linton’s decision which declared that the magistrate’s order invalid.
Anwar had claimed trial to two summons charges.
In the first charge, Anwar was charged with breaching an order by Magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir, which barred the public from entering Dataran Merdeka during Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, 2012.
In the second charge, Anwar together with PKR’s deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham Shaharin @ Chegubard were jointly charged for allegedly inciting and abetting R.Tangam, G.Rajesh Kumar and Farhan Ibrahim, in breaching a court order issued by the magistrate.
While Anwar had chosen to challenge the constitutionality of the charge, Azmin, Badrul Hisham and the thee others had taken a different route by appealing the magistrate’s order that was issued under Section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
They appealed at the Court of Appeal, which set aside the magistrate’s order.
Call to act – Leaders set for Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Malaysia’s government has embarked on a “binge” of prosecutions against its critics, using criminal laws to crush peaceful expression, according to Human Rights Watch.
In a new 145-page report, Human Rights Watch documents the arrests of scores of people with critical views, including opposition politicians, activists, journalists and ordinary citizens, as well as the suspension of two critical newspapers, the blocking of websites and the declaration that peaceful protests were unlawful.
The New York-based organisation released the report on Tuesday, ahead of a summit of world leaders in Kuala Lumpur next month, expected to include Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Barack Obama.
Revealing details of little-known cases, Human Rights Watch said the summit will present an opportunity for world leaders to press Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to reform draconian laws and end censorship.
Mr Najib, fighting for his political life over an alleged corruption scandal, promised to “uphold civil liberties” and “regard for the fundamental rights of the people” when he took office in 2009.
But Human Rights Watch said repression intensified after Mr Najib’s long-ruling coalition lost the popular vote but managed to retain power because of a gerrymandered voting system in elections in 2013. The organisation said the government’s use of the criminal code to silence peaceful expression violates international legal standards.
The report details the relentless pursuit of Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, one of Asia’s best-known political cartoonists under the pen name Zunar, who faces up to 43 years’ jail on charges including nine counts of sedition, one for each of nine tweets he sent criticising a court’s decision upholding a sodomy conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The jailing of Dr Anwar for five years is widely seen as part of a political vendetta against the politician who presented the biggest challenge to the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the party that has ruled the country for decades.
Human Rights Watch said among the many troubling cases documented in the report is that of University of Malaya law professor Azmi Sharom, who is facing trial on charges of sedition for expressing his legal opinion that actions taken by the government six years ago were illegal.
“I was a law professor expressing a legal opinion,” Dr Azmi said.
Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said Mr Najib has broken promises to revise laws that criminalise peaceful expression.
“Instead, Malaysia has gone on a binge of prosecution of critics,” Mr Adams said.
“The government is making a mockery of its claims to democracy and fundamental rights by treating criticism as a crime”.
Referring to the case of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, a member of the Parliament of Malaysia, and to the decision adopted at its 194th session (March 2014), Taking into account the report of the Committee delegation (CL/197/11(b)-R.1) which, at the invitation of the Malaysian parliamentary authorities, went to Malaysia (29 June–1 July 2015) to gain a better understanding of the issues at hand in the Malaysian cases, raise existing concerns and examine possible avenues for progress; considering that the delegation was allowed to meet with Mr. Anwar Ibrahim in prison; also taking into account the information provided by the leader of the Malaysian delegation to the 133rd IPU Assembly (October 2015) and by one of the complainants at two separate hearings with the Committee on 17 and 18 October 2015 respectively,
Recalling the following information on file:
- Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 and Deputy Prime Minister from December 1993 to September 1998, was dismissed from both posts in September 1998 and arrested on charges of abuse of power and sodomy; he was found guilty on both counts and sentenced, in 1999 and 2000 respectively, to a total of 15 years in prison; on 2 September 2004, the Federal Court quashed the conviction in the sodomy case and ordered Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s release, as he had already served his sentence in the abuse of power case; the IPU had arrived at the conclusion that the motives for Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s prosecution were not legal in nature and that the case was built on a presumption of guilt;
- Mr. Anwar Ibrahim was re-elected in August 2008 and May 2013 and became the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (The People’s Alliance);
- On 28 June 2008, Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a former male aide in Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s office, filed a complaint alleging that he had been forcibly sodomized by Mr. Anwar Ibrahim in a private condominium; the next day, when it was pointed out that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, who was 61 at the time of the alleged rape and suffering from a bad back, was no physical match for a healthy 24-year-old, the complaint was revised to claim homosexual conduct by persuasion; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim was arrested on 16 July 2008 and released the next day; he was formally charged on 6 August 2008 under section 377B of the Malaysia Criminal Code, which punishes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with “imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years” and whipping; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to the charge and, in addition to questioning the credibility of the evidence against him, pointed to several meetings and communications which took place between Mr. Saiful and senior politicians and police before and after the assault to show that he is the victim of a political conspiracy;
- On 9 January 2012, the first-instance judge acquitted Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, stating that there was no corroborating evidence to support Mr. Saiful’s testimony, given that “it cannot be 100 per cent certain that the DNA presented as evidence was not contaminated”; this left the court with nothing but the alleged victim’s uncorroborated testimony and, as this was a sexual crime, it was reluctant to convict on that basis alone;
- On 7 March 2014, the Court of Appeal sentenced Mr. Anwar Ibrahim to a five-year prison term, ordered that the sentence be stayed pending appeal, and set bail at 10,000 ringgits,
Considering that, on 10 February 2015, the Federal Court upheld the conviction and sentence, which Mr. Anwar Ibrahim is currently serving in Sungai Buloh Prison in Selangor; as a result of the sentence, he will not be eligible to run for parliament for six years after he has completed his sentence, ie until July 2027,
Taking into account the report of the IPU observer, Mr. Mark Trowell QC, (CL/197/11(b)-R.2), who attended most of the hearings in the case in 2013 and 2014 and the final hearing on 10 February 2015; the rebuttal of his report by the authorities and the response to the rebuttal by Mr. Trowell,
Considering that the complainants affirm that the case against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim has to be seen against the backdrop of the uninterrupted rule of Malaysia by the same political party, UMNO, and the fact that in the 2013 general elections that monopoly was shaken by a united opposition which was able to obtain 52 per cent of the popular vote, although – according to the complainant, due to widespread gerrymandering and fraud – this did not translate into a majority of seats for the opposition; the complainants also point out that the alliance that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim was able to set up and keep together fell apart after he was incarcerated,
Considering that the Malaysian authorities have repeatedly stated that Malaysia’s courts were fully independent and that due process had been fully respected in the course of the proceedings against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, including by offering the counsel for defence many opportunities to present their arguments,
Considering that, on 30 April 2015, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim applied for a fresh judicial review of his conviction, under Rule 137 of the Federal Court rules, on grounds of unfairness, with the applicant asking for the adverse judgement to be set aside and a new bench constituted to rehear the appeal; in his nine-page affidavit, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim listed a number of grounds warranting a review of his case; he alleged, among other things, that the extraordinary swiftness, timing and content of the statement made by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the day of his conviction gave the impression that it knew of the result of the case even before the court’s ruling, which is normally subject to secrecy; the affidavit also points out that it is not the practice of the PMO to issue such a statement in any other criminal appeal; in the grounds to support his application, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim claimed that the judgement ought to be reviewed because the release of the PMO’s statement on the date of judgement which sought to justify his conviction rendered the judgement objectively deficient; the affidavit also criticized the conduct of lead prosecutor Mr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who, according to Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, had conducted a “road show” following his conviction, thereby lending weight to his claim that his trial was backed by UMNO and that he was the victim of a political conspiracy,
Considering also that, on 10 June 2015, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers filed an application to have the Federal Court hear retired senior police officer Mr. Ramli Yusuff’s testimony to the alleged conspiracy to cover up the infamous “Black Eye” incident in 1998 during Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s detention before his first sodomy trial (“Sodomy I”); Mr. Ramli Yusuff had given evidence on 27 May 2015 in a separate case about his refusal to aid the then Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, in a purported bid to fabricate evidence falsely showing that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim had selfinflicted his injuries; Mr. Ramli Yusuff had also said that he refused to lodge a police report falsely claiming that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim had lodged a false report of an assault by the then Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tan Sri Rahim Noor; Mr. Ramli Yusuff claimed that the then Inspector-General of Police had said that he had been sent by the then Attorney General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah and the then lead prosecutor of the case, Mr. Abdul Gani Patail, who subsequently became, and until very recently was, the Attorney General of Malaysia; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim said that the police officer’s evidence was credible and of crucial importance, adding that the Federal Court would not have rejected his defence of a political conspiracy had the additional testimony been available to him earlier,
Considering that, on 24 February 2015, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s family submitted an application for a royal pardon; on 16 March 2015 the Pardons Board rejected the application unofficially through an affidavit in reply; the family again submitted a petition for a royal pardon on the basis of a transgression of justice on 12 October 2015,
Considering that, since his imprisonment on 10 February 2015, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim has been examined by Dr. Jeyaindran Tan Sri Sinnadurai, who is also the Deputy Director General of Health; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim had been complaining to Dr. Jeyaindran about the pain in his right shoulder since early March 2015; however, according to his family, he was only sent to hospital in Kuala Lumpur after four months, namely on 2 June 2015; although the physician who examined him recommended intensive physiotherapy, this recommendation was not implemented, except for a few days from 7 to 12 July 2015; currently, according to Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s family, physiotherapy rarely takes place – once every few weeks, despite the constant pain; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s medical report had been referred to Prof. Dr. Ng Wuey Min, Associate Professor at the University Malaya Medical Centre, an orthopaedic shoulder specialist who had treated him before; he concluded that the problem affecting Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s right shoulder was serious and may require arthroscopic surgery to ensure longterm healing; Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s family affirms that, on 21 August 2015, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s family was informed that, on that very same day, the orthopaedics specialist, Dr. Fadhil, had met Mr. Anwar Ibrahim in prison and merely prescribed strong painkillers to manage the pain, the dose subsequently being doubled by Dr. Jeyaindran,
Considering that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s family consider that Dr. Jeyaindran should not be in charge of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s health treatment for the following reasons: (i) he was a witness who testified during the trial against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim; (ii) he is also the personal physician to the current Prime Minister of Malaysia; (iii) he has failed to implement any necessary treatment, which he personally recommended, namely intensive physiotherapy; (iv) he lacks the expertise in the area of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s health problems; (v) the family affirms that Dr. Jeyaindran has taken three months to allow Mr. Anwar Ibrahim to be examined and for an MRI of his right shoulder to be taken, which has contributed to the pain becoming chronic and affecting his left shoulder; (vi) the family considers that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim needs to be taken immediately to the University Malaya Medical Centre hospital for a thorough examination by Prof. Dr. Ng Wuey Min of his right and left shoulder problems, including all tests such as MRI, etc, so that he can give an authoritative judgement as to effective treatment,
Recalling that, while in detention during the first sodomy trial (“Sodomy I”), Mr. Anwar Ibrahim suffered a severe spinal injury and developed symptoms of spinal cord compression; his plea for medical help then was not heeded,
- Thanks the IPU trial observer and the parliamentary authorities for their extensive comments on the trial against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim;
- Thanks also the Malaysian authorities, in particular the parliamentary authorities, for receiving the on-site mission and for facilitating the fulfilment of its mandate; appreciates that the mission was given the opportunity to meet with Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, albeit – contrary to its procedure – not alone;
- Is deeply concerned about the trial observer’s conclusion that, in light of the procedural irregularities and the evidence available, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim should have been acquitted; considers in this regard that the detailed official rebuttal does not dispel the serious concerns about the credibility of the alleged victim, the DNA evidence and the dubious circumstances surrounding the alleged sodomy;
- Fears that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, which precluded him from participating in parliamentary life for more than a decade, deprived the opposition of its main leader and ultimately led to the disintegration of the united opposition, may be based on considerations other than legal;
- Sincerely hopes therefore, all the more so in light of new facts presented by his legal counsel and family, that the efforts to obtain a judicial review or royal pardon will bear fruit; wishes to be kept informed of progress in this regard;
- Is deeply concerned that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim may not be receiving the treatment he needs in an effective and timely manner; calls on the authorities to do everything possible to address this situation, including by allowing him to be cared for by a doctor of his own choice and to receive the recommended long-term treatment to avoid irreparable damage to his health, if need be through surgery abroad; wishes to receive the views of the authorities on this point;
- Requests the Secretary General to convey this decision to the competent authorities, the complainant and any third party likely to be in a position to supply relevant information;
- Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report to it in due course.
Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Medical Treatment: A Rebuttal to claims by D-G of Health
28 September 2015
We refer to the statement by the DG of Health on 26th September 2015 claiming that the medical professionals are providing all necessary treatment for DSAI.
We strongly disagree. Urgent and essential medical treatment has been unreasonably delayed until the present day.
The D-G of Health claimed that there are 17 experts managing DSAI’s medical treatment. However this is of no avail to DSAI as urgent surgical treatment continues to be delayed. DSAI’s chronic right shoulder injury has worsened and has left him in a state of constant pain. This has been raised by DSAI, his family and lawyers ever since his imprisonment in February 2015.
It was almost 3 months before even an MRI was carried out to ascertain the exact condition of the shoulder, despite repeated pleas for treatment by DSAI. Since then the panel of doctors have told DSAI that surgery is required to the right shoulder. Despite more requests and pleas by DSAI’s family and lawyers, he has yet to be taken to hospital for the surgical procedure.
The D-G of Health claimed that a senior physiotherapist has been assigned to him. However, DSAI only received physiotherapy about once a month and even this was at the prison itself where there are no proper facilities for physiotherapy to be carried out effectively. He should be taken several times a week to the hospital for intensive physiotherapy as recommended by the orthopaedic specialist.
Now with his worsening condition, surgery has become essential.
The DG now claims that they are allowing an orthopaedic consultant chosen by DSAI’s family to give a second opinion. However this request was made much earlier by DSAI and family, and has never been allowed to date.
Why this unexplained delay?
We note that although 17 experts are said to be involved, the person in charge remains Tan Sri Dr S.Jeyaindran. Dr Jeyaindran was also a prosecution witness against DSAI in the sodomy prosecution.
What is equally worrying is that the Minister in charge has again appointed Dr S.Jeyaindran to examine DSAI now, when he is the very the same physician consultant who was involved in treating DSAI in 2003 during his then imprisonment. Even back then, DSAI had complained about the lack of adequate medical treatment for his back problem. Those complaints were very real because DSAI was flown immediately to Munich for complex surgery on his back upon his release in September 2004.
We therefore demand on behalf of DSAI and his family that:-
1. Dr S Jeyaindran be removed as the leader of the panel of experts and as DSAI’s physician;
2. That DSAI be warded immediately, and allowed to consult the orthopaedic surgeon of his choice and that the surgery be carried out promptly.
Lawyers for Anwar Ibrahim
DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 21 September 2015:
“I welcome the round table gathering of representatives from PAS, KEADILAN, DAP and Amanah and NGOs expected to take place on Tuesday.
This is an important preliminary step in forging a representative, participatory and inclusive alliance of political parties, NGOs and personalities to bring much-needed change to the country.
The aim of the gathering is not simply to forge a political alliance; ours is a greater endeavour to save the country by uniting all forces committed to reform, justice and the rule of law.
From this prison, I sense the anxiety and concerns of the Rakyat on the economy and fall in currency, increase in racial rhetoric and the continuing 1MDB scandal which remains unresolved.
In this critical situation, we must set aside differences and move forward to forge a viable, just and democratic alternative to the current government.”
Parti Keadilan Rakyat
Kenyataan Media: Perutusan DS Anwar pada 21 September 2015
Berikut merupakan perutusan DS Anwar Ibrahim yang disampaikan melalui peguam beliau pada 21 September 2015:
“Saya terima baik usaha rundingan meha bulat yang akan disertai wakil-wakil PAS, KEADILAN, DAP dan Amanah serta NGO-NGO pada Selasa ini.
Ini merupakan langkah awal yang penting bagi mewujudkan muafakat yang melibatkan semua pihak termasuk parti-parti politik, NGO dan individu-individu yang amat diperlukan demi membawa perubahan kepada negara.
Tujuan pertemuan ini bukan hanya untuk mewujudkan muafakat politik; usaha kita lebih dari itu, iaitu untuk menyelamatkan Malaysia dengan menggembleng tenaga semua pihak yang komited kepada reformasi, keadilan dan kedaulatan undang-undang.
Walau saya di penjara, saya tetap dapat merasai kerisauan dan kebimbangan rakyat terhadap isu ekonomi dan kejatuhan nilai mata wang ringgit, penggunaan retorik perkauman yang semakin meningkat dan skandal 1MDB yang tidak berkesudahan.
Dalam keadaan genting ini, kita perlu mengetepikan perbezaan dan maju ke hadapan untuk membentuk alternatif yang berdaya maju, adil dan demokratik berbanding kerajaan sedia ada.”
Parti Keadilan Rakyat
THE OBAMA administration has made a heavy bet on the Malaysian government of Najib Razak, whose majority Muslim nation collaborates on several key U.S. national security initiatives: counterterrorism, counterproliferation and balancing against China’s regional ambitions. In December, President Obama invited Mr. Najib to a round of golf during his Hawaiian vacation, a rare show of friendship for a foreign leader.
Since then, however, Mr. Najib has been evolving into an increasingly unseemly pal. In February, the country’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned on blatantly trumped-up charges, just under a year after the coalition Mr. Anwar led won the popular vote in national elections. That was the tip of a broader campaign to suppress the opposition; key leaders were indicted under a sedition law that Mr. Najib once promised to repeal, and a leading cartoonist was prosecuted for tweets. Mr. Anwar’s daughter, parliament member Nurul Izzah Anwar, was recently told she was being investigated under an anti-terrorism law.
Then came the news that close to $700 million had been transferred to personal bank accounts of Mr. Najib before the 2013 election. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Malaysian investigators believed the money came from companies linked to a troubled state investment fund headed by the prime minister. Mr. Najib responded with a brazen crackdown on those investigating the fund, firing a deputy prime minister and the attorney general and gutting a parliamentary investigative committee. Two newspapers that had been pursuing the scandal were shut down. When the opposition organized a massive protest demonstration last month, authorities banned the movement’s signature yellow color.
Mr. Najib once positioned himself as a reformer who would lead a quasi-authoritarian state to genuine democracy. Now he is trying to consolidate his position by appealing to the worst currents in Malaysian politics: ethnic chauvinism and Islamic fundamentalism. In answer to the opposition, the ruling party, which relies on support from the majority Malay population, staged its own rally in which senior officials crudely attacked the Chinese and Indian minorities. Mr. Najib is meanwhile toying with the idea of allowing Islamic sharia law to be imposed in one province, a key goal of Malaysia’s fundamentalists.
In a visit to Kuala Lumpur last month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had “raised concerns” with Mr. Najib about freedom of expression and Mr. Anwar’s imprisonment. But mostly the Obama administration is sticking with the sullied prime minister. In July, the State Department delivered a questionable promotion to Malaysia in its human trafficking ratings; Mr. Obama is still scheduled to visit Malaysia for an Asian summit in November. The administration appears to be counting on Mr. Najib to deliver Malaysia’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asian free trade deal that Mr. Obama hopes to make part of his legacy.
Nevertheless Ms. Nurul, who visited Washington this week, had a good question for the administration officials she met: “For all that you are investing in Malaysia, are you getting your money’s worth?” Mr. Najib may cooperate with U.S. intelligence agencies and the trade representative, but his repression and pandering to racists and Muslim extremists risks destroying the foundations of the alliance. The next time Mr. Obama meets his golfing buddy, he ought to make that clear.