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Malaysian Minister for Education draws protest

Visit to NZ by Malaysian Minister for Education draws NZ student demonstration

Amnesty International is calling on the Malaysian Minister for Education, during his visit to NZ, to put a stop to the detention of Malaysian students for their participation in peaceful political activities.

This will be a silent vigil, in solidarity with students in Malaysia.

In Wellington: Saturday 18 August, 2pm-3pm, Malaysian High Commission, 10 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn

In Auckland: Sunday 19 August, 6pm-7pm, Auckland University Marae

Background

NZ university members of Amnesty International have recently been working on the case of Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, a 24 year old student. Khairul was arrested on 5 July 2001 and held without charge under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for 23 days. He was arrested as he accompanied six student activists who had been told to present themselves at a police station in connection with their alleged participation in a peaceful demonstration against the ISA.

The New Zealand University Students' Association is supporting Amnesty International's call to the Malaysian Minister for Education.

Malaysian students and academics face severe restrictions on their involvement in political activities, under the Universities and University Colleges Act. According to the act, students may be imprisoned for six months and fined if they are active in any political party, society or trade union without their university's permission.

The Internal Security Act has been repeatedly criticized by human rights organisations, as it violates fundamental human rights and has been used as a tool to suppress peaceful political, academic and social activities. It allows for indefinite detention without charge or trial for up to two years.

For further information contact: Rebecca Lineham, BH 0-4-499 3595 AH 0-4-971 9997 mobile 021 422 562

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