Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Regional law society says assembly law breaches human rights

Regional law society says assembly law breaches human rights

November 30, 2011
Malaysian Insider

Malaysian Bar members marching to Parliament to protest the Peaceful Assembly Bill November 29, 2011.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — LawAsia, an international society of lawyers, judges and legal experts said today Malaysia has directly or indirectly breached the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in passing the Peaceful Assembly Bill.

The 45-year-old society — which the Malaysian Bar is a member — pointed out that Article 20 (1) of the UDHR states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and which principle is entrenched in other international and regional instruments”.

In a statement today, its president Malathi Das said it objected to the prohibition of street protests, the age restrictions on who may organise and attend an assembly, and the onerous procedures required to seek permission to hold an assembly as provided for under the new law.

It also noted that the new law increased the police’s powers with regards to an assembly but lack the definition to safeguard the public from excessive misuse of such powers.

It is noted that members of the Malaysian Bar had marched peacefully to Parliament yesterday to present their alternative, which proved street demonstrations could be peaceful and not threaten public order or safety.

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