OPEN LETTER – THE OBSERVATORY
Open Letter to Mr. Y.B Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Geneva-Paris, March 30, 2011
Re: Judicial harassment of 52 HINDRAF and HRP members and obstacles to freedom of peaceful assembly
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), strongly condemns the judicial harassment of 54 members of Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and its sister organisation, the Human Rights Party (HRP), two organisations aiming at defending the rights of Hindu and other marginalised minorities in Malaysia, following their organisation of and participation in a peaceful march against racism on February 27, 2011.
The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about the judicial harassment against HINDRAF and HRP members on the ground that they belong or participate to assemblies of unlawful societies, and further denounce the continuous refusal of the Malaysian authorities to register these two organisations.
The Observatory therefore calls on the Malaysian authorities to put an end to any act of judicial harassment against HINDRAF and HRP members as well as against all human rights defenders in Malaysia, and to comply in all circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 5 which states that “for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) To meet or assemble peacefully; (b) To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”.
We express our sincere hope that you will take these considerations and requests into account.
Eric Sottas Souhayr Belhassen
OMCT Secretary General FIDH President