Categorised | Letters to the Editor

Police injunction undermines fundamental rights

AMNESTY International Malaysia (AI) is deeply concerned over the use of a blanket injunction reportedly obtained by the police for the 28 Oct 2009 Perak state legislative assembly. Such restraining orders allow for abuse of police powers, as any person within a stipulated range can be arrested without due process and proper examination of facts. This subjects the public to the risk of detention, torture, and other forms of ill-treatment and selective prosecution.

It has become the standard practice for police to obtain such court orders to facilitate mass crackdowns on peaceful assemblies. Applications are made and granted based solely on one party’s prejudice. This undermines the people’s right to be heard in an open court and to address allegations, unfounded grounds and concerns, making a mockery of our justice system. It furthermore undermines the fundamental freedom of assembly and movement guaranteed by our Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

AI would like to strongly remind the Malaysian police of their statutory duty to protect the interests and rights of the public. The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials spells out in Article 5 that no law enforcement official may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They may not justify these actions by citing superior orders or exceptional circumstances such as a threat to national security.

Any policing and public order exercise must clearly demonstrate compliance with human rights. The public must be assured of a professional and credible police service. We call on the police to respect the fundamental freedoms of Malaysians, and to stop the current practice of obtaining unilateral court orders to crack down on peaceful gatherings.

K Shan
Campaign Coordinator
Amnesty International Malaysia

28 Oct 2009

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5 Responses to “Police injunction undermines fundamental rights”

  1. ygbenor says:

    Suggest that strong condemnation [be conveyed] to the Malaysian government. And get Amnesty International to send a representative to meet the government to condemn what’s happening here.

  2. justthot says:

    Amnesty International may consider engaging the judges through a forum refining their roles in accordance with the rule of law, justice, basic human rights and the Constitution.

  3. Tan says:

    Is there still rule of law in Perak after the mass arrest of people wearing black and the unlawful removal of the Perak speaker by force in full view of the public?

  4. All one can ask is whether we have a judiciary that thinks on its own or is beholden to the high and mighty. Rulings by certain judges scream for condemnation, and reflect the crude manner in which the judgments are made. Any foreigner reading our newspapers […] would only laugh and [wonder] whether we are in Alice’s Wonderland.

  5. Nicholas Aw says:

    As much as the police would like to deny it, the force is practising double standards. If it were the BN, then a different set of laws would have applied.

    I doubt if ever the police would be able to regain the trust of the rakyat.

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