Uphold students’, youths’ right to peaceful assembly

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is repulsed by the attempts to criminalise and restrict the rights of students and youth groups to take part in public assemblies.

The right to peaceful assembly is a fundamental right that is afforded to all human beings and provided for under the Federal Constitution and can only be derogated in the direst of circumstances.

The attempt to criminalise and penalise students for participating in the #TangkapMO1 rally scheduled for 27 August 2016 is not only regrettable but represents a gross human rights violation by the government and the education institute. The act of criminalising such participation can be seen as a move to remove the voice of students and youth groups and limit the democratic rights of students and youth groups.

The courage to stand up for democracy and human rights is a trait that should be promoted and fostered among students and must not become the reason for them to be expelled from their respective universities.

Suaram reiterates our support for the call for action by the student coalitions of #TangkapMO1 and strongly condemns all attempts to restrict the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly afforded to all Malaysians under the Federal Constitution.

As a show of solidarity, Suaram will provide assistance and support to the rally on 27 August 2016. Participants who find themselves arrested for participating in the rally can contact the urgent arrest team on duty and send their name, identity card number, police station or place of arrest to 012-256 6089.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

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