24 September, 2008

IFJ Condemns Detention of Malaysian Blogger

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the decision by Malaysia’s Home Minister to detain blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for two years under the country’s draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

The order, signed on September 22 by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, extends Raja Petra’s detention for two years on the grounds that his writing poses a threat to “national security”.

Raja Petra has not been subject to a trial, and the order was issued despite ongoing habeas corpus proceedings by his lawyers.

Raja Petra is a blogger and editor of the political website Malaysia Today. He has run the popular alternative political website for two years, and has broken a string of controversial stories on the site including a series of accusations against senior government members.

Journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter with the Chinese language daily Sin Chew Daily, and opposition politician Teresa Kok were both detained last week under the ISA and subsequently released.

“Raja Petra’s detention sends a frightening message to critics of Malaysia’s Government that dissent will not be tolerated,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

“In a time of political instability, a free media is all the more crucial to ensure proper democratic process. Far from setting an example in the region, Malaysia is hurtling down an anti-democratic and authoritarian path.”

The IFJ demands the Government release Raja Petra immediately and cease using the ISA to clamp down on journalism and free expression in Malaysia.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide


My dear brothers and sisters....Vanakam .

It's time now for us to get united again !!

Once again the Government has refused to review and repeal the draconian Internal Security Act(ISA). There are 64 detainees under ISA, some have spent more than 6 years without being charged in court. Each night that every detainee spends under ISA is a night too long.

While you and me spend our evenings cocooned in the safety of our homes with our families, out at Kamunting there are 64 individuals who have been torn apart from there families and denied their basic human rights, we also know now, how poorly fed they are.

The time is now to call to free our Hindraf heroes, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and every other person who has been denied the rights to defend themselves and who are detained without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

All efforts to revoke this dreaded ISA, from our de facto law minister’s resignation, to even Cabinet Minister denouncing this law, have fallen on deaf ears. Innumerable and various legal approaches for the release of individuals have failed to free them. Even the judicial system in seems to have failed the ISA detainees.

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, we plead that you once again stand united beyond all our ideological, political, religious and socio economical differences.

In accordance to our Rukun Negara principles of being the citizens who ‘Believe In God’ and practicing ‘Loyalty To The King And Country’, who always believed in ‘Upholding The Constitution’ and respect the ‘Rule Of Law’ which eventually results in ‘Good Behavior and Morality’.

We urge all Malaysians to gather in peace.

Venue : Dataran Merdeka , Kuala Lumpur

Date : Saturday, 27th September 2008

Time : 7.00pm

Come friends, lets garner support to light up a candle for each night that our ISA detainees have remained in prison. Each of your candles will denote one night too long that our ISA detainees have spent under detention.

Let this candle vigil send out a strong message, THE PEOPLE ARE THE BOSS. Let your voice rise up against this injustice to the ruling Barisan Nasional government to immediately release unconditionally the Hindraf Heroes, Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and all others who have been unlawfully detained under ISA .

The Bar Council, in their recent EGM unanimously voted for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act. We seek the Bar council of Malaysia, the various political party leaders , elected MPs , ADUNs, NGOs and every concerned Malaysian citizen who sincerely desire to repeal the ISA to come and lend their support.

To the Prime Minister, we welcome the police to protect peaceful Malaysian citizens to practice Article 10 of the federal constitution, which allows the citizens of Malaysia to gather peacefully.

Therefore please mark your calendars to gather peacefully on Saturday, 27th September 2008 at 7pm at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

Once again failing this beautiful peaceful candle vigil is “NOT AN OPTION!!!”

Bring along candles, we are gathering in peace and love. Once again we ask everyone to respect the principles of Ahimsa (PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE) and excuse any of our police brothers in the event they have to carry out their duty.

Our system has denied justice to 64 ISA detainees, are you going to allow them to languish further? Some of these detainees, like our beloved YM Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Hindraf heroes spoke out for you and me, spoke up for a better Malaysia, spoke up for our next generation!! Now is our turn, what can we do for them?

Pick up your candles and join us for the vigil to repeal the draconian ISA.


Suara Rakyat, Makal Shakati!!!

Sambulingam Wisvalingam

National Hindraf Coordination team.

21st September 2008

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