Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Human Rights Watch: Stop harassing Malaysiakini

A New York-based human rights group has called on the Malaysian government to drop its order to independent news website Malaysiakini to remove two videos relating to the controversial cow's head protest.

“The government wants to make the problem disappear by taking the videos off the Internet,” said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Elaine Pearson in a statement released late yesterday.

“But Malaysians have a right to see for themselves what happened and hear what was said – the government shouldn't be suppressing this information.”

Malaysiakini has refused to comply with a Sept 3, 2009 order by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to remove a video showing an incident where protesters in Shah Alam marched with a severed cow's head to oppose the building of a Hindu temple.

The residents, carrying a bloody cow's head, were protesting plans to relocate Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple to their neighborhood in Section 23.

MCMC has also ordered another video in which Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stated that the actions were legal.

It recorded Hishammuddin's news conference on Sept 2, exonerating the protesters of any wrongdoing.

“All they wanted was to voice their unhappiness and the unwillingness of the state government to consider their request,” said the minister after a meeting with the protesters.

“This day and age, protests should be accepted in this world as people want their voices to be heard. If we don't give them room to voice their opinions, they have no choice but to protest.”

Responding to public outcry, Hishammuddin reversed his position a day later and ordered a further police investigation and “uncompromising punishment” of the protesters.

Police charged 12 participants with illegal assembly on Sept 9, with six also charged with sedition.

Don't use Sedition Act

Human Rights Watch however argued that the Sedition Act should not be used against the protesters.

“It's time for the government to stop using sedition charges against protesters and to consistently uphold free expression,” said Pearson. Human Rights Watch has previously called for the Sedition Act to be abolished.

Following Malaysiakini's refusal to remove the videos, the MCMC has since launched an investigation.

complete news at : http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/113372

seals:

If they say
Hishammuddin's video has to be removed and they think it is seditious/National Security then they should charge him first, right? Someone did not go to school?

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