World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Malaysia: Activist victim of double injustice


Malaysia: Human rights activist victim of double injustice

Irene Fernandez, the director of Tenaganita, a women's non-governmental organization (NGO), has been found guilty of 'maliciously publishing false news', and sentenced today to 12 months imprisonment. She remains free on bail, pending the outcome of her appeal.

Amnesty International deplores the fact that Irene Fernandez has been targeted for her legitimate work as a human rights defender, and been subjected to the longest-running trial in Malaysian history. Today's verdict reinforces the injustice of the last eight years.

In 1996, Irene Fernandez was charged under Section 8A(2) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984) (PPPA). The charges against Irene Fernandez were brought following Tenaganita's release of a report -- "Abuses, Torture and Dehumanised Treatment of Migrant Workers at Detention Camps". The report was compiled from over 300 interviews of undocumented migrant workers, after their release from detention camps in Malaysia in 1994 and 1995. The concerns over conditions in Malaysian detention camps which were raised in the report, have been reiterated by other human rights organizations and foreign governments.

The PPPA, like many of Malaysia's restrictive laws, violates international human rights standards, specifically on freedom of expression. Bans on the publication of 'false news', like that set out in section 8A(2) of the PPPA, have been found by international bodies like the UN Human Rights Committee and a number of constitutional courts around the world to breach the guarantee of freedom of expression.

"In view of reports of widespread ill-treatment of undocumented migrants during mass deportations from Malaysia in August 2002, the Malaysian authorities should investigate the allegations made by organizations like Tenaganita, and activists like Irene Fernandez, rather than use legislation that contravenes international human rights standards to silence their criticism", Amnesty International concluded.

If imprisoned, Amnesty International will consider Irene Fernandez as a Prisoner of Conscience and will call for her immediate and unconditional release.

View all documents on Malaysia at http://amnesty-news.c.tep1.com/maabyKHaa1kitbb0hPub/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>