PETALING JAYA: An NGO is "deeply troubled" that the police are carrying out investigations against activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri over a gathering at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday (Feb 29) night.
The Joint-Action Group For Gender Equality (JAG) said that the police are investigating Fadiah under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 over the gathering.
"For the rakyat, the political situation in the country appears to be regressing. All of us as the rakyat have a right to be heard and to ensure that our views are not sidelined and ignored.
"Fadiah, a human rights defender known to uphold truth and justice, has already been targeted for investigations – the first casualty of this political crisis – and such conduct by the powers that be is unwarranted and unacceptable," the group said in a statement on Sunday (March 1).
The statement is endorsed by several NGOs, including All Women's Action Society (AWAM), Association of Women Lawyers (AWL), Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), Sisters In Islam (SIS), Tenaganita, and Women's Centre for Change (WCC).
The group noted that it is the rakyat's constitutional rights to assemble and freely express this in a peaceful and democratic manner.
JAG also condemned the online intimidation and harassment against other individuals who participated in and spoke at the gathering.
"We urge the police to cease investigating Fadiah under the Sedition Act or any other law.
"We also urge the government to uphold and protect our citizens' rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly, more so during this critical time in our country," it said.