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Sunday June 14, 2009

42 ‘deeply disturbed’ groups urge PAS to recant call to ban SIS

PETALING JAYA: PAS has been urged to retract its call to ban non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam (SIS).

In a joint statement, a coalition of 42 organisations, including several NGOs and SIS, said it was also deeply disturbed by PAS’ call for SIS members to be rehabilitated if its activities were deemed contrary to syariah laws.

The statement added that demanding for action against SIS was contradictory to PAS’ public rhetoric in favour of a democratic and inclusive Malaysia.

“The demand is wholly anti-democratic. Though members of PAS are entitled to their views, the call for the banning of SIS is wholly unacceptable.”

The statement said, as a matter of principle, the question of banning any organisation purely for its views should not arise..

“Differences of views must be respected and, if at all, be resolved through constructive engagement.”

The statement added that, just like how PAS had the freedom to associate and express its views, the members of SIS, or any other organisation, were guaranteed the same freedom.

“The call to silence SIS and send its members for rehabilitation is an act of violence against that freedom and their constitutional underpinnings.”

Other groups that signed the statement include the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, Aliran, Suaram, Centre for Independent Journalism and DAP Socialist Youth.

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