Human rights group warns of repercussions if Bersih organisershauled up
Published: 31 August 2015
Despite the heavy police presence, the Bersih 4 rally proceededpeacefully for all of its 34 hours over the weekend, giving noreason for authorities to take any action against the organisers,says Human Rights Watch. There will be serious harm to Malaysia’sinternational reputation if Putrajaya took action against theBersih 4 rally organisers, Human Rights Watch said today.
Its deputy director for Asia division Phil Robertson said thatthe right to public assembly is an internationally guaranteedright.
His comments come as Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri AhmadZahid Hamidi had yesterday threatened that action will be takenagainst the organisers after the government had branded the 34-hourrally held over the weekend as “illegal”.
“This is not a warning and not just a promise, action must betaken,” he told reporters after launching the Ipoh Timor Umnodivision meeting.
Robertson said he would be “happy” to send Zahid a copy of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights.
“His threat to take legal action against the organisers for whatwas a peaceful, well-organised protest clearly demonstrates therights abusing orientation of this Malaysian government,” he saidin a statement today.
“Malaysia should recognise that its people have the right totheir own political views, even if the government disagrees withwhat they have to say, and violation of such rights will haveserious consequences on Malaysia’s international reputation,” headded.
The Bersih 4 rally concluded yesterday night without anyincidents and drew tens of thousands to the streets of Kuala Lumpurover the weekend.