Release Raja Petra and retract show cause letters

0

 

Aliran strongly condemns the detention of Malaysia Today’s Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the draconian Internal Security Act and the issuance of show-cause letters to Suara Keadilan, theSun and Sin Chew Jit Poh today as something totally unjustified and unwarranted.

The government’s atrocious action against RPK and the three newspapers is completely undemocratic and violates universal press freedom, which is the bedrock of democracy. 

RPK’s detention is unjust as it denies him his democratic right to defend himself. He should have been charged in open court in relation to the earlier charges made against him under the Sedition Act. By resorting to the ISA, his innocence can no longer be proven. This is indeed undemocratic, unjust and un-Islamic.

That is why we, other civil society groups and concerned Malaysians have opposed the use of undemocratic and unjust laws such as the ISA and the Sedition Act. Even individuals who express and do things that may cause anxiety and pain among the people and possibly inflame ethnic and religious sentiments should be accorded their right to natural justice and be allowed to defend themselves in an open court. They deserve this in any democratic society.

Moreover, the government’s drastic action makes us wonder whether this is a politically motivated prelude to a 1987-type of political clampdown, which involved mass detentions of innocent individuals most of whom were not even remotely involved in creating the supposed ethnic tension at that time.

The government’s latest moves reinforce the suspicion that these are desperate measures taken to undermine what is seen as the unstoppable Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat mounting a real challenge to the Barisan Nasional..

READ MORE:  Stop jailing Covid-19 lockdown violators

Whatever the case may be, we urge the government to release Raja Petra unconditionally and also retract the show cause letters issued to the three brave newspapers so that democracy can flourish and justice be served.

Aliran Executive Committee

12 September 2008

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments