THE Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations (Macsa) stands in solidarity with the Palestinians in their fight for their inalienable rights of self-determination over the Palestinian Territory and condemns the continuous, longstanding violations by the Israeli government of various international laws for displacing Palestinians from their homes, establishing new settlements, extrajudicially killing Palestinian civilians, indiscriminately detaining Palestinian children and women, and many other well-documented grievous violations.
Macsa thus applauds the many Malaysians and others around the world who have voiced their dismay at and objections to the flagrant violations of the Israel government against Palestinians. The plight and suffering of Palestinians have been effectively conveyed and disseminated, in particular through social media.
Towards this end, Macsa views with grave concern the many reports and allegations of unfair, discriminatory and arbitrary censorship by giant social network companies such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok of the legitimate disclosure of these violations against the law.
Numerous allegations have been made that these companies suppress free speech by deleting and halting the dissemination of fair comments and/or closing accounts arbitrarily without justification and due process.
It is about time these companies are made accountable for their suppression of free speech. The Palestinians have endured for far too long the brutal treatment under the Israeli regime and any further suppression of their rights to protest is inhumane and unacceptable.
As such, Macsa calls on Malaysia to be the first country in the world to enact a “Palestinian Struggle Anti-Censorship Act/Ordinance” to hold these companies accountable for their suppression of free speech.
Macsa, however, does recognise the rights of these companies to suppress hate speech but what constitutes hate speech must be made clear. Any suppression of speech must be executed in a fair and transparent manner and not in the arbitrary and opaque way it is done now. With the law in place, these social network companies could be fined if they do not comply.
LUKMAN SHERRIF ALIAS
Chairperson, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations (Macsa)
ASSOC PROF DR RAFIDAH HANIM MOKHTAR
Chairperson, MyAQSA Foundation
Note: Macsa is a coalition of civil society organisations involved in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process that reviews the human rights records of all United Nations member states.
The MyAQSA Foundation provides legal assistance to Palestine as an amicus curiae for the International Criminal Court.