The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) is disappointed with the police investigation into Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (Caged) spokesperson, Rama Ramanathan, who is also a member of Proham.
Rama is being probed under Section 4 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act, which addresses “intentional insult” and “improper use of network facilities”. This is over an article he wrote about the arrest of fellow activist Jufazli Shi Ahmad.
It is believed that the police went to his apartment without a warrant and took away his laptop and handphone.
Proham reiterates that freedom of speech and expression should be respected. It is a constitutional right guaranteed under Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution. The right to question, speak and write should be viewed as part and parcel of the right to freedom of speech and expression.
We stand in solidarity with Rama. Police intimidation must end to allow freedom of expression in charting the course for a healthy democracy in Malaysia.
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In relation to that, we would like to emphasise again the urgency for the government to institute an independent police complaints and misconduct commission to provide checks and balances and to monitor the immensely wide powers of the police.
Kuthubul Zaman is Proham president and Khoo Ying Hooi is assistant secretary-general.