Y.A.B Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak Prime Minister, Government of Malaysia Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Main Block, Perdana Putra Building Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya Malaysia
Subject: Petition to stop judicial harassment against Jannie Lasimbang
Honorable Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, condemn the ongoing judicial harassment and intimidation against Ms. Jannie Lasimbang, a prominent human rights and indigenous rights leader, and call on the Malaysian Government authorities to immediately drop all charges laid against her. We affirm that the targeted prosecution of Ms. Lasimbang, among other rights activists, is indicative of the closing space for civil society in Malaysia. We urge the Government to put an end to such prosecution and uphold the values of democracy and human rights.
Ms. Lasimbang is one of the former vice-chairpersons of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), which is a campaign endorsed by over 60 Malaysian NGOs seeking electoral reforms and promotion of democratic rights in Malaysia. She is the first person to be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) for her role in organizing the fourth series of peaceful assemblies of (Bersih 4.0). The assemblies were held in major cities in Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, on 29 and 30 August 2015. There were subsequent assemblies in over 70 cities around the world in support of the main assemblies in Malaysia.
The overnight rally in Kota Kinabalu had more than 3,000 people in attendance but ended two hours shy of its 24-hour target after a police barricade stopped some 1,000 participants of the assembly from walking towards the city. The police had questioned Ms. Lasimbang immediately after the Bersih 4.0 assembly ended, along with along with others for their alleged role in organizing the assembly. She was not arrested; it therefore came as surprise to her to be charged nearly two months later.
Ms. Lasimbang was charged on 21 October 2015 at the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate Court under Section 9(5) of the PAA 2012 for allegedly organizing the Bersih 4.0 assembly at Likas Bay Park without giving a 10-day notice to the city police chief prior to the event, as required under Article 10(c) of the PAA 2012. Ms. Maria Chin Abdullah, the Chairperson of Bersih 2.0 was also later also charged under the same section.
We are informed that although Bersih Sabah had submitted the form required for the 10-day notice, the failure to append a consent letter from the owner of the Likas Bay Park (City Hall) was construed as not giving the 10-day notice.
The Kota Kinabalu Magistrate allowed Ms. Lasimbang bail of RM3,000 (approx. USD 697) with a deposit of RM1,000 (USD 232) for the charge and set the court date for 13 November 2015 for case management and 23 and 24 November 2015 to hear the case. The case management was earlier rescheduled to 20 January, and the hearing to 26 and 27 January 2016. It has since been postponed again without any certain date. We are gravely concerned that if convicted, Ms. Lasimbang faces a maximum fine of RM20,000 (USD 4646) for two counts of the same charge, one for each day of the 2-day event. She has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Lasimbang, a former commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has also served as a member and chairperson of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), established by the Human Rights Council under the United Nations. Former Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, she is currently at the forefront of indigenous rights advocacy in Malaysia as the Secretary General of the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, also known as Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS).
We affirm that the selective prosecution of Ms. Lasimbang and other activists in Malaysia constitutes violations of national and international human rights obligations of the State, including under UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The Declaration provides 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 to meet or assemble peacefully (Art. 5(a)). It is the duty of State of Malaysia to “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone...against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration” (Art. 12).
We believe the ongoing judicial harassment of Ms. Lasimbang and others only aims at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities. Thus, we call on the Malaysian authorities to immediately drop all charges against them and rather engage constructively with the human rights activists for advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Malaysia.
Joan Carling Secretary General Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
On behalf of the organizations and individuals listed below S. No. Name of the organization Country 1 Adivai Facilitators Group (AFG) Bangladesh 2 Badhan Hijra Sangha (BHS) Bangladesh 3 Bangladesh Apparels Workers Federation (BAWF) Bangladesh 4 Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BAF) Bangladesh 5 CHT Women Resource Network (WRN-CHT) Bangladesh 6 Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) Bangladesh 7 JAGO NARI Bangladesh 8 Kapaeeng Foundation (KF) Bangladesh 9 Maleya Foundation Bangladesh 10 Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha (TUS) Bangladesh 11 Zabarang Kalyan Samity (ZKS) Bangladesh 12 Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) Botswana 13 Unissons-nous pour la Promotion des Batwa (UNIPROBA) Burundi 14 Bunong Indigenous Community Association Cambodia 15 Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA) Cambodia 16 Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organization (CIPO) Cambodia 17 Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA) Cambodia 18 Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) Cambodia 19 Cambodian League for the Promotion & Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) Cambodia 20 Indigenous Rights Active Members (IRAM) Cambodia 21 Peace Institute of Cambodia (PIC) Cambodia 22 Youth for Peace Cambodia (YFP) Cambodia 23 International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) Denmark 24 Initiative for Living Community Action Ethiopia 25 Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) Fiji 26 Groupe International De Travail Pour Les Peuples Autochtones (GITPA) France 27 International Council for the Indigenous Peoples of CHT (ICIP-CHT) France
28 Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology (INFOE) Germany 29 Adivasi Navjeewan Gathan Navjyoti Agua (ANGNA) India 30 Adivasi Women's Network India 31 Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU) India 32 Association for Promotion of Sustainable Development, Hisar India 33 Borok Peoples Human Rights Organisation (BPHRO) India 34 Borosa Foundation for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights India 35 Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur India 36 Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS) India 37 Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ICITP) India 38 Indigenous Women Children Foundation (IWCF) India 39 Jana Vikas India 40 Karbi Human Rights Watch (KHRW) India 41 Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) India 42 People's Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) India 43 Sammajik Seva Sadan India 44 Zo Indigenous Forum India 45 Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) Indonesia 46 Inspirator Muda Nusantara Indonesia 47 Peacebuilding Institute (Institut Titian Perdamaian - ITP) Indonesia 48 Sawit Watch Indonesia 49 Sehjira Deaf Foundation Indonesia 50 SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia Indonesia 51 Yayasan LINTAS NUSA Batam Indonesia 52 Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Indonesia 53 “SOciety for New Initiatives and Activities” for a Just New World Italy 54 Community Resource and Development Center Kenya 55 Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners (ILEPA) Kenya 56 Indigenous Peoples National Steering Committee on Climate Change (IPNSCCC) Kenya 57 Mainyoito Pastoralists Integrated Development Organization (MPIDO) Kenya 58 Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Programme Kenya 59 Aliran Kesedaran Negara Malaysia 60 All Women's Action Society (AWAM) Malaysia 61 Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS) Malaysia 62 Building Indigenous Initiatives in Heritage (BiiH) Malaysia 63 Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) Malaysia 64 Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) Malaysia 65 Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL) Malaysia
Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) (with membership comprising 105 community organizations) Malaysia 67 Jaringan Tanah Hak Adat Bangsa Asal Sarawak (TAHABAS) Malaysia 68 LLG Cultural Development Centre Malaysia
69 Malaysian Trader Union Congress (MTUC) Sabah Malaysia 70 Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) Malaysia 71 Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI) Malaysia 72 PACOS Trust Malaysia 73 Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) Malaysia 74 Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PANAP) Malaysia 75 Pusat Komuniti Malaysia (KOMAS) Malaysia 76 Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E.) Malaysia 77 Sahabat Rakyat Malaysia 78 Sarawak Dayak Iban Association Malaysia 79 Sarawak Indigenous Youth Network (SIYN) Malaysia 80 SAVE Rivers Malaysia 81 Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM) Malaysia 82 Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) Malaysia 83 Tenaganita Malaysia 84 TObpinai NIngkokoton koBUruon kampuNG (TONIBUNG) Malaysia 85 Agencia Internacional de Prensa Indígena (AIPIN) México 86 Gobi Soil Mongolia 87 MONFEMNET National Network Mongolia 88 OT Watch Mongolia 89 Steps Withuot Borders NGO Mongolia 90 Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) Myanmar 91 Burma Partnership Myanmar 92 Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) Myanmar 93 SHANAH Myanmar 94 Spectrum Myanmar 95 Women Peace Network-Arakan Myanmar 96 Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa Namibia 97 Active Society Nepal (ASN) Nepal 98 Ageing Nepal Nepal 99 Bahing Kirat Mulukhim Nepal 100 Bahing Kirat Mulukhim Women Union Depart Nepal 101 Bote Adibasi Janajati Samuha Nepal 102 Center for Indigenous People's Research and Development (CIPRED) Nepal 103 Chula Chuli UNESCO Club (CUSC) Nepal 104 Community Empowerment and Social Justice Foundation (CEmSoJ) Nepal
105 Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities Journalists (FONIJ) Nepal
106 Forum for Public Awareness Rural Development and Environmental Conservation (FPARE) Nepal 107 Garivi Unmulan tatha Sahayog Anusandhan Kendra Nepal Nepal 108 Hamro Mechi Samajik Sanstha Nepal
109 Hurhure Yuwa Club Nepal 110 Indigenous Nationalities Single Women Network (INSWN) Nepal 111 Indigenous Nationalities Women Youth Network (INWYN) Nepal 112 Indigenous Women League Nepal 113 Janauthan Manch Nepal 114 Kanchangjangha Women's Development Group Nepal 115 Karani Community Development Centre Nepal 116 Kathriya Society Nepal Nepal 117 Kirat Chamling Association (KCA) Nepal 118 Kirat Chamling Language Culture Development Association (KCLCDA) Nepal 119 Kirat Chamling Youth Society (KCYS) Nepal 120 Kirat Welfare Society (KWS) Nepal 121 Kirat Youth Society (KYS) Nepal 122 Kulung Mingma Guskham Nepal
Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) Nepal 124 Lok Kalyan Nepal Nepal 125 National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN) Nepal 126 National Indigenous Women Forum Nepal 127 National indigenous Women's Federation (NIWF) Nepal 128 Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Nepal 129 Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association (NIDA) Nepal 130 Nepal Manav Adhikar Samaj Nepal 131 Nepal Rana Tharu Samaj Nepal 132 Nepal Tamang Women Ghedung Nepal 133 NGO-Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FONIN) Nepal 134 Pahadi Samaj Bikas Kendra Nepal 135 People Unity Youth Society (PUYS) Nepal 136 Prangbola Chhar Nham Nepal 137 Prasamsha Samudaik Bikas Kendra Nepal 138 Rasuwa Janajati Development Committee Nepal 139 Rasuwa Tamang Samaj Nepal 140 Routa Welfare Community Center Nepal 141 Shilichong Club Development Centre Nepal 142 Shilichong Club Social Development Centre Nepal 143 Siluti Namphunyak Paryatan Bikas Kendra Nepal 144 Thakali Women Association Nepal 145 Tharu Innovative Youth Society Nepal 146 Unity Society Nepal 147 Youth Awareness Society Nepal (YASN) Nepal 148 Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN) Nepal 149 Nga Tirairaka o Ngati Hine New
Zealand 150 Centro para la Autonomía y Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CADPI) Nicaragua 151 Rainforest Foundation Norway Noway 152 Advocacy, Research, Training and Services (ARTS) Foundation Pakistan 153 Pakistan Development Alliance (PDA) Pakistan 154 Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
155 Porgera Alliance
Papua New Guinea 156 Asociacion ANDES Peru 157 Center of Indigenous Cultures of Peru (CHIRAPAQ) Peru 158 Continental Network of Indigenous Women on Americas (ECMIA) Peru 159 Asia Indigenous Women Network (AIWN) Philippines 160 BAI-Indigenous Women Network in the Philippines Philippines 161 Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Philippines 162 IBON International Philippines 163 Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamyan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU) Philippines 164 National Federation of Peasant Women (AMIHAN) Philippines 165 Tebtebba - Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research Philippines 166 Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines Philippines 167 Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN) Russia 168 Batwa Foundation Rwanda 169 MARUAH Singapore Singapore 170 Community Development Services (CDS) Sri Lanka 171 Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) Switzerland 172 Global Bersih Switzerland 173 Central Taiwan Ping-Pu Indigenous Groups Youth Alliance Taiwan 174 Papora Indigenous Peoples Association (PIDA) Taiwan 175 Papora Indigenous Youth Council (PIYC) Taiwan
Taiwan Associaton for Rights Advancement for Ping Pu Plains. Aborigine Peoples (TARA-Ping Pu) Taiwan 177 Takao Indigenous Makatao Council (TIMC) Taiwan
Parakuiyo Pastoralists Indigenous Community Development Organisation (PAICODEO) Tanzania 179 Asian Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) Thailand 180 FORUM-ASIA (Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development) Thailand 181 Indigenous Peoples' Foundation for Education and Environment (IPF) Thailand 182 Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT) Thailand 183 Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT) Thailand 184 People's Empowerment Foundation (PEF) Thailand 185 Sustainable Development Foundation Thailand 186 TEA - togetherness for equality and action Thailand 187 Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation (TCR) Thailand
188 Covalima Youth Center (CYC)
189 Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)
TimorLeste 190 ARTICLE 19 UK 191 Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation UK 192 Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) UK 193 Boat People SOS (BPSOS) USA 194 International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) USA 195 Pivot Point USA 196 Centre for Sustainable Development in Mountainous areas (CSDM) Vietnam 197 Centre of Research and Development in Upland Areas (CERDA) Vietnam 198 Vietnam Indigenous Knowledge network (VTIK) Vietnam 199 Vietnamese Women for Human Rights Vietnam 200 ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) 201 ASEAN Youth Forum 202 Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) 203 Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC) 204 Indigenous Peoples' Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative 205 International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples S. No. Name of the individual Country 1 Dr. Wilton Littlechild, IPC Canada 2 Elizabeth Mobinsil Malaysia 3 Kely Jitilon Malaysia 4 Suzalie Mohamad Malaysia 5 Winni Jimis Malaysia 6 William Nicholas Gomes UK 7 Allison Silverman
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