Hentikan intimidasi terhadap peguam hak asasi manusia

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Kumpulan Wanita Bertindak bagi Kesamarataan Gender (JAG) menggesa Jabatan Peguam Negara untuk menggugurkan dakwaan terhadap peguam hak asasi manusia Siti Kasim yang telah didakwa “menghalang seorang pegawai kerajaan menjalankan tugasnya”.

Kami juga menyeru kerajaan Malaysia untuk menghentikan undang-undang, polisi, dan amalan yang mendiskriminasi komuniti transgender dan mematuhi piawaian hak asasi manusia antarabangsa.

Gugurkan dakwaan terhadap Siti Kasim

Siti Kasim merupakan seorang peguam hak asasi manusia terkemuka berikutan usaha beliau dalam membela hak-hak masyarakat pribumi, wanita, dan golongan LGBT. Pada 13 Jun 2017 yang lalu, beliau telah didakwa “menghalang seorang pegawai kerajaan menjalankan tugasnya” di bawah Seksyen 186 Kanun Keseksaan.

Perkara ini berlaku apabila beliau mempersoalkan kesahihan serbuan yang dijalankan oleh pegawai Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (Jawi) di sebuah acara transgender yang tertutup. Siti Kasim telah memperkenalkan diri beliau sebagai peguam dan menjalankan tugas rasminya sebagai peguam di acara tersebut.

Pada 23 Jun 2017, Siti Kasim telah mengaku tidak bersalah terhadap pertuduhan tersebut dan beliau telah dibebaskan dengan ikat jamin. Tarikh 22 Ogos 2017 telah ditetapkan sebagai tarikh sebutan semula kes. Jika didapati bersalah, beliau boleh dikenakan hukuman dua tahun penjara, denda maksimum RM10,000, atau kedua-duanya sekali.

Dakwaan yang dikenakan terhadap Siti Kasim adalah satu penghinaan terhadap kebebasan profesion perundangan. Pendakwaan ini membimbangkan kerana merendahkan kemampuan peguam dalam mempertahankan hak klien mereka tanpa bimbang risiko akan ditangkap atau didakwa. Kebebasan para peguam untuk menjalankan tanggungjawab profesional mereka adalah penting untuk mempertahankan hak asasi manusia, mengangkat peranan undang-undang, dan menegakkan keadilan.

Kami menggesa Jabatan Peguam Negara untuk menggugurkan pendakwaan terhadap Siti Kasim dengan segera.

Hentikan diskriminasi terhadap komuniti transgender

Selain itu, JAG juga menyeru kerajaan Malaysia untuk menghentikan undang-undang, polisi dan amalan yang mendiskriminasikan komuniti transgender – contohnya, serbuan terhadap golongan transgender dalam acara tertutup yang membawa kepada dakwaan terhadap Siti Kasim.

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Tindakan mendiskriminasi komuniti transgender ini mencabul perlindungan terhadap diskriminasi berasaskan gender seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Tindakan sedemikian turut mencabul hak asasi manusia yang telah diiktiraf di peringkat antarabangsa, iaitu kebebasan daripada diskriminasi, hak untuk keamanan peribadi, serta kebebasan bersuara seperti yang telah digariskan oleh Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat (UDHR).

Tegakkan undang-undang dan piawai hak asasi manusia antarabangsa

JAG menyeru pihak berkuasa untuk memansuhkan semua undang-undang dan polisi yang mendiskriminasi dan memastikan Malaysia mematuhi undang-undang dan piawaian hak asasi manusia antarabangsa. Pertuduhan yang dikenakan terhadap Siti Kasim telah melanggar Prinsip Asas Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu mengenai Peranan Peguam.

Pejabat peguam negara perlu menggugurkan dakwaan terhadap beliau dan patuh kepada piawaian hak asasi manusia antarabangsa.

Beri perhatian terhadap desakan daripada organisasi hak asasi manusia

JAG bersama-sama institusi yang lain menyeru kerajaan Malaysia untuk menghormati dan mengangkat hak peguam untuk menjalankan tugasan perundangan tanpa sekatan ataupun gangguan. Institusi-Insititusi berkenaan termasuklah Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi manusia (Suhakam), Majlis Peguam Negara, Amnesty International dan Lawyers for Liberty.

Gabungan Kumpulan Wanita Bertindak bagi Kesamarataan Gender (JAG):
1. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
2. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
3. Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
4. Justice for Sisters
5. Perak Women for Women (PWW)
6. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
7. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
8. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (Sawo)
9. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
10. Tenaganita
11. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC Penang)


Stop intimidating human rights lawyers

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) urges the attorney general’s chambers to drop the charge of “obstructing a public servant” against human rights lawyer Siti Kasim.

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We also call on the Malaysian government to end discriminatory laws, policies, and practices against the transgender community and further comply with international human rights standards.

Drop the charge against Siti Kasim

Siti Kasim is a prominent woman human rights lawyer known for her advocacy for indigenous, women’s, and LGBT rights. On 13 June 2017, she was charged for allegedly “obstructing a public servant” under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

This occurred after she questioned the legitimacy of a raid conducted by the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) officers on a private transgender event. Siti Kasim had identified herself as a lawyer and was conducting her professional duties as an advocate and solicitor at the event.

On 23 June 2017, Siti Kasim pleaded not guilty to the charge and was released on bail. The next court hearing is scheduled for 22 August 2017. If convicted, she faces up to two years in prison, a maximum fine of RM 10,000 or both.

The charge against Siti Kasim is an affront to the independence of the legal profession. The charge would set a chilling precedent that undermines lawyers’ ability to defend their clients’ rights without fear of arrest and prosecution. The independence of lawyers to freely conduct their professional duties is fundamental to protecting human rights, upholding the rule of law, and administering justice.

We urge the attorney general’s chambers to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Siti Kasim.

Stop discriminating against the transgender community

Furthermore, JAG calls on the Malaysian government to stop targeting the transgender community through discriminatory laws, policies, and practices — such as the raid on the private event that led to Siti Kasim’s charge.

READ MORE:  Malaysian Bar welcomes court decision to acquit Siti Kasim

Such targeting breaches the Federal Constitution protection against discrimination on the basis of gender — as well as internationally recognised human rights to non-discrimination, privacy, and freedom of expression, such as those outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Uphold international human rights law and standards

JAG urges the authorities to repeal all discriminatory laws and policies and to ensure Malaysia complies with international human rights law and standards.

The charge against Siti Kasim violates the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. The attorney general’s chambers must drop the charge against her and comply with international human rights standards.

Heed the calls of human rights organisations

JAG joins other institutions in calling on the Malaysian government to respect and uphold the right of lawyers to perform their professional duties without hindrance or interference. These institutions include the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Malaysian Bar, Amnesty International and Lawyers for Liberty.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG):

1. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
2. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
3. Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
4. Justice for Sisters
5. Perak Women for Women (PWW)
6. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
7. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
8. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (Sawo)
9. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
10. Tenaganita
11. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC Penang)

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