Drop probe into Malaysian women’s rally, cops told
Free Malaysia Today Tue, March 14, 2023
Rights group Article 19 says it is disappointed that the new government is resorting to tactics used by its predecessor to restrict peaceful demonstrations.
The women’s rally involved 150 people, including human rights activists, university students and members of political parties. (Facebook pic)
PETALING JAYA: Rights group Article 19 has called on the authorities to drop investigations into a women’s rally held over the weekend, saying such gatherings are guaranteed under the law.
Its senior programme officer in Malaysia, Nalini Elumalai also said harassment of organisers and participants should be halted.
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The government and police were obligated to “respect, protect and fulfil the right to protest”, she said in a statement.
“It is deeply disappointing that the new government seems to be resorting to tactics used by its predecessor to restrict peaceful demonstrations.”
Nalini said the right to freedom of peaceful assembly also meant that the public could champion a cause that was not necessarily welcomed by the government or the majority of the population, including issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
On Sunday, Dang Wangi police chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya said an investigation paper had been opened into an assembly which involved 150 people, including human rights activists, university students and members of political parties.
Noor Dellhan said the rally did not follow the provisions of the law and that investigations would be carried out under the Peaceful Assembly Act and Minor Offences Act.
During the rally, participants had held placards which contained slogans such as “Imagine if men are as disgusted with rapes as with periods”, “Child not bride”, “Transwomen are women”, and “Police your behaviour, not my body”.
SOURCE: Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia Tue, March 14, 2023
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