Perhimpunan awam mesti dilindungi dan dimudahcara: Suhakam

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The anti-GST rally in KL on Workers Day 2014

Walaupun diakui bahawa perhimpunan awam boleh menyebabkan gangguan kepada rutin aktiviti harian, mengikut definisi, perhimpunan hanya merupakan satu aktiviti yang sementara, ujar Hasmy Agam. (English translation below)

Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) merujuk kepada cadangan perhimpunan Hari Mei yang akan diadakan di Kota Kinabalu dan Kuala Lumpur pada 1 Mei 2015. Suruhanjaya telah menerima permintaan untuk memantau perhimpunan di kedua-dua lokasi dan akan melaksanakan tanggungjawabnya sebagai sebuah institusi hak asasi manusia nasional.

Dalam konteks ini, Suruhanjaya mengulangi pendiriannya didalam kenyataan media Suruhanjaya pada 28 Jun 2011, 3 Mei 2012, 1 Mei 2014 dan 7 November 2014 iaitu setiap orang mempunyai kebebasan untuk berhimpun secara aman.

Hak ini menyediakan ruang untuk kebebasan awam, yang merupakan tunggak utama bagi masyarakat demokratik dan ini jelas termaktub di dalam Pengisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat (Artikel 20), Deklarasi Hak Asasi Manusia Asean (Artikel 24) dan Perlembagaan Persekutuan (Perkara 10).

Suruhanjaya mengakui bahawa hak kepada kebebasan berhimpun hanya terpakai untuk perhimpunan aman dan mengenepikan demonstrasi dimana mana pihak penganjur berniat jahat dan mungkin mengakibatkan rusuhan. Walau bagaimanapun, kemungkinan berlakunya tindak balas ganas daripada peserta demonstrasi, sebagai contoh, tidak menghalang pihak polis untuk memberikan perlindungan.

Justeru, sekatan yang dikenakan pada perhimpunan sebegitu mestilah selaras dengan undang-undang dan bertujuan untuk melindungi hak berhimpun secara aman.

Suruhanjaya juga mengulangi cadangannya dalam Laporan Siasatan Awam 2012 dan 2013 mengenai perhimpunan awam dimana Suruhanjaya telah menekankan bahawa peserta perhimpunan awam tidak harus bertindak sewenang-wenangnya, bahkan perlu sentiasa menghargai dan menghormati peranan dan tanggungjawab pihak polis dalam mengekalkan dan memelihara keselamatan, keamanan, undang-undang dan peraturan.

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Walaupun pihak berkuasa mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk mencapai keseimbangan yang saksama antara hak asas untuk berhimpun secara aman dan hak-hak orang lain di kawasan yang terlibat dengan perhimpunan, Suruhanjaya menasihatkan bahawa bantahan kepada sesuatu perhimpunan bukanlah alasan yang baik untuk mengenakan sekatan awal terhadap sesuatu perhimpunan.

Tambahan pula, walaupun diakui bahawa perhimpunan awam boleh menyebabkan gangguan sementara atau gangguan kepada rutin aktiviti harian, mengikut definisi, perhimpunan hanya merupakan satu aktiviti yang sementara

English version

Peaceful assemblies must be protected and facilitated

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) refers to the proposed May Day rallies to be held in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur on 1 May 2015. The Commission has received requests to monitor the assemblies at both locations and will carry out its responsibility accordingly as a national human rights institution.

In this context, the Commission reiterates its position, as contained in its press statements of 28 June 2011, 3 May 2012, 1 May 2014 and 7 November 2014 that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

This right provides a means for public expression, which is central to a democratic society as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human rights (Article 20), the Asean Declaration of Human Rights (Article 24) and the Federal Constitution (Article 10).

The Commission acknowledges that the right to freedom of assembly applies only to peaceful gatherings and excludes demonstrations where the organisers have violent intentions which may result in public disorder. But the possibility of violent counter-demonstrations for example does not forfeit police protection and, therefore, restrictions placed on such assemblies must be in conformity with the law and for the purposes of protecting the right of peaceful assembly.

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The Commission further recalls its recommendations in its Public Inquiry Reports of 2012 and 2013 concerning public assemblies in which the Commission emphasised that participants of public assemblies should not take the law into their own hands and must appreciate and respect at all times that the police have its role and responsibilities in maintaining and preserving security, peace, law and order.

While the authorities have a duty to strike a fair balance between the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and the competing rights of others in the locality affected by an assembly, the Commission advises that opposition to an assembly is not good reason to impose prior restrictions on an assembly.

Furthermore, while it is acknowledged that public assemblies may cause some level of temporary interference with, or disruption to, routine daily activities, assemblies are, by definition, temporary activities.

Tan Sri Hasmy Agam is the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam)

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