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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

NGO: Halt use of Sedition Act till new law is in

The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham) has called on the authorities to stop using the Sedition Act until a new law to adequately protect freedom of speech, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, is in place.

In a statement today, Proham chairperson Kuthubul Zaman (below) and secretary-general Denison Jayasooria also called on the government to host a dialogue with the Bar Council and other human rights organisations, on its plans to repeal the draconian pre-Merdeka Sedition Act 1948 and to replace it with the proposed National Harmony Bill.

The recent blitz by the authorities in using the Sedition Act has seen many individuals, including lawmakers, politicians, academicians and activists, being hauled up in court since last month.

It is also vital, Proham said, for the government to also release its human rights action plan, which Malaysia made as a commitment to the global community, during the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review discussions in Geneva.

Proham also said it supported the Bar Council's proposed peaceful walk next Thursday (Oct 16) as peaceful public expression is a fundamental human right.

“This provides a democratic avenue of expression whereby citizens can display their unhappiness through a constructive public display,”  the statement said

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