Suhakam: Kangar police chief report against Suaram will have ‘chilling effect’

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019

PETALING JAYA: The police report lodged by Kangar police chief superintendent Wari Kiew (pic) against Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) may constitute a form of harassment against human rights defenders, says the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

Suhakam said if this was left unchecked, it may create a “chilling effect” in which future whistleblowers or activists would self-censor or restrain themselves from fully exercising their right to freedom of expression in fear of the threat of legal sanctions.

“Being able to realise their work in championing victims of human rights abuses without fear of interference, intimidation, abuse, threat, violence, reprisal or undue restriction is vital to their ability to operate, as underscored by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, ” Suhakam said in a statement Wednesday (Oct 16).

Online portal MalaysiaKini reported that Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy had alleged that police officers had wrongfully detained and tortured a father and son in Perlis last month.

Supt Wari then lodged a police report against Sevan for defamation under Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Suhakam said it welcomed Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador’s announcement that Suaram’s allegations would be investigated.

The human rights body also urged Supt Wari to not take further action against Suaram and to allow investigations into the allegations to proceed to completion.

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