Monday, 27 June 2011

Stop Intimidation and Harassment of Ordinary Citizens and Organizers of Bersih 2.0. Release All Detained

In this time of utter ludicrousness, I'm glad some people in my country are still making sense.
Thanks Irene and Tenaganita for this.

Press Statement, June 27, 2011

Stop Intimidation and Harassment of Ordinary Citizens and Organizers of Bersih 2.0
Release All Detained.

Bersih 2.0 is a citizen's collective and movement to ensure clean and fair elections. The government of the day must recognize such laudable initiatives by the Rakyat as it strengthens democracy and justice in the country. While citizens have the right to vote, the Election Commission established through Parliament, must ensure citizens are well informed, the electoral processes and systems are fair and clean and corruption is eliminated.

Bersih 2.0's eight demands basically move to ensure the above noble principles. The government, if it is clean and fair, should support the rally without fear or favor. But what we see today is aggressive intimidation, harassment and violence against ordinary citizens and organizers of the Bersih 2.0 programs of raising consciousness for a free, fair and clean elections.

It is indeed ridiculous that the government is riddled with fear to the extent of using the classic communist bogey for a clamp down on democracy. The use of its machinery and institutions, in particular the police force to deter people from participating from public meetings and even wearing the Bersih yellow t-shirts cannot be accepted as it is clear abuse of power.

Tenaganita condemns the arrests and detention and intimidation of all persons and demands the release of all detainees. We are deeply concerned over the one week remand of 31 PSM leaders and activists using the bogey of revival of communism and rebellion against the King. It is indeed absurd.

The "attack" on Bersih 2.0 activists reflects the failure of the government in upholding democracy and its principles, good governance and ensuring free, fair and clean elections.

The fear bogeys no longer work. The rakyat is not breaking any law as it is using its fundamental right to assemble peacefully, guaranteed in the Federal Constitution, already proven in the Bersih rally in 2007. The role of the police is to ensure traffic flow and that no one uses violence on the peaceful assembly.

We march for democracy, for clean and fair elections that are so much needed for our country and respect that right of all Malaysians.

Dr. Irene Fernandez
Executive Director


Post a Comment