Free the arrested Malaysian socialists

We are publishing a statement calling for the release of all those arrested in Malaysia because of their cal for a free and fair elections. The IMT is adding its signature to this statement. The 6 activists arrested under emergency legislation are all leading figures of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) including a member of parliament. Please read the statement and add your voice to the protest.

free_psm

[Urgent appeal for protest letters to be sent to the Malaysian government]

Regional left statement in solidarity with PSM: Free all political prisoners! Democracy for the Malaysian people!

July 8, 2011 -- On June 19, 2011, a campaign called Bersih 2.0 was called by the Malaysian people for a free and fair elections in the country with the 13th General Election around the corner. Bersih 2.0 also called a gathering for July 9, 2011. On June 24, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) launched a Udahlah BN, Bersaralah (Enough BN, retire now) campaign. The PSM campaign aimed to expose the corruption of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government and also to drum up support for the Bersih 2.0 rally.

Since June 22, more than 100 individuals have been arrested because they have expressed their support for a mass rally on July 9, called for by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih). As of now, 81 people have been arbitrarily arrested and detained by the police at various locations in the country before the Bersih 2.0 rally. A further 15 people have been called or summoned by the police for their statements to be recorded in relation to the Bersih 2.0 rally. The police harassment and intimidation included arresting people for wearing Bersih 2.0 T-shirts, distributing Bersih 2.0 leaflets, holding and carrying Bersih 2.0 T-shirts, taking 112 statements for more than one time, denying access to lawyers and medication during the detention period and the sexual harassment of women activists.

On July 3, six PSM members, including Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj (a member of parliament), have been rearrested under the Emergency Ordinance (EO), which allows for 60-day detention without trial, renewable for up to two years at the discretion of the home minister. The six were part of a group of 30 PSM activists who were remanded on June 25 for allegedly “waging war against the king”.

We view these acts of the Malaysian government as the suppression of the democratic rights of the Malaysian people. This is part of an attempt to protect the elite power that has been in power for years in Malaysia through the United Malays National Organisation-Barisan Nasional (UMNO-BN) regime.

We strongly condemn the Malaysian government for using harassment, arrest and intimidation as a method to try to silence opposition to the anti-democratic, anti-poor and anti-working-class policies of the Malaysian government.

We demand:

a. That the government of Malaysia immediately and unconditionally release all the PSM activists in detention.

b. That the government of Malaysia must stop all forms of repression and intimidation against the Malaysian people from expressing their democratic rights.

c. We call on all the socialist and pro-democratic movements, in South East Asia and all the world, to build and give solidarity to the PSM and to the Malaysian people who are being repressed and arrested.

We also declare our fullest support for the ongoing campaign and the struggle of the Malaysian people for democracy.

Signed by:

Asia-Pacific

Socialist Alliance (Australia), Reorganize Committee-Working People Association (KPO-PRP Indonesia), Resistance (Australia), Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), Party of Labouring Masses (PLM, Philippines), Socialist Aotearoa (New Zealand), Solidarity (Australia), Peoples Democratic Party (PRD Indonesia), Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (Indonesia), All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions, Radical Socialist (India), Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP, Sri Lanka), All Together (South Korea), Revolutionary Socialist Party (Australia), Australia Asia Worker Links, Vi Pham (Vietnam), Partido ng Manggagawa (Philippine), Herlounge (Indonesia), Empower Foundation (Thailand), Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance (KASBI), Vipar Daomanee, Turn Left Organisation Thailand, Turn Left Organisation Thailand, Socialist Alternative (Australia), Socialist Worker-New Zealand.

Europe

Left Party (Sweden), Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), Partido Obrero Revolucionario (POR, Spain).

Latin America

Union de Militantes por el Socialismo (UMS, Argentina).

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For updated news on this campaign see the PSM website: http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/eo6

The online petition is available at: http://www.petitiononline.com/eo6/petition.html

To read profiles of the 6 arrested PSM leaders go to: http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/node/1673

A list of Malaysian embassies worldwide is available here: http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/mission


SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

MALAYSIA: Release the Six Political Prisoners remain in detention under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969

I have been informed by the Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) that six members of the Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) are under detention. They are: Dr. Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, a member of parliament; Mr. Sukumaran Munisamy, Mr. Letchumanan Aseer Patham, Mr. Choo Chon Kai, Ms. Sarasvathy Muthu and Mr.. Sarat Babu Raman.

Dr. Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and the five others were first arrested when they were in a group of 31 persons on 25 June 2011 at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in Seberang Prai Utara. They were traveling in a bus from Sungai Petani towards Penang to promote the planned Bersih 2.0 rally on 9 July 2011. The rally was initiated by a coalition of over 60 civil society groups calling for electoral reforms for free and fair elections in Malaysia. This was just one of the many arrests that were happening all over the country as the Malaysian government attempted to prevent the rally from being held.

On 26 June, 30 of them were ordered to be remanded until July 2 by the Butterworth Magistrate's Court, while a 16-year-old teenager, S Ragu, was released unconditionally. On 1 July, the High Court upheld the Magistrate's remand order. All 30 were detained for seven days to assist the police investigation under Section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysia's Supreme Head of State, the King) and for attempting to revive the Communist Party.

After being released on 2 July 2011 from the IPD Kepala Batas, Penang, the six were re-arrested by the Bukit Aman police outside the station and have remained in detention since then. This time they are being held under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 (EO), which allows for detention without trial. The EO provides the police with powers to detain a person for up to 60 days. After the initial 60-day detention period, the Home Ministry can make an order authorising further detention without trial for a period of up to two years. This order can be renewed indefinitely and is a blatant denial of the rights to civil liberties and circumvents the rule of law.

In Malaysia, there are a number of draconian laws that provide for detention without trial. The most prominent of these laws are the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures Act 1985)

I am extremely concerned to learn that on 6 July, the six detainees filed their habeas corpus application to challenge their unlawful detention, an application which is normally heard on an urgent basis, but the High Court decided that it will only be heard on 22 July.

I therefore urge that the earliest possible date for the hearing of the habeas corpus application filed by the six detainees on 6 July 2011 be fixed. Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, Choo Chon Kai, M. Sarasvathy, M. Sukumaran, A..P Letchumanan, R. Sarat Babu and all others currently being detained in Malaysia under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DD(SPM)A) and other laws which allow detention without trial should be immediately and unconditionally released.

I also call for the repeal of the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DD(SPM)A) and other laws that allow for detention without trial.

Finally, I ask that the detainees be allowed access to lawyers without limit and family members without restriction of any kind.

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Prime Minister of Malaysia
Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak
Office of The Prime Minister,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya,
MALAYSIA
Tel: +603-8888 8000
Fax: +603-8888 3444
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Minister of Home Affairs
Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein
Ministry of Home Affairs
Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D
Pusat Pentadbiran
Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA
Tel: +603 8886 8000
Fax: +603-88891613/+603-88891610
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Inspector General of Police
Tan Sri Haji Ismail Bin Haji Omar
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia
Bukit Aman
50560 Kuala Lumpur.
MALAYSIA
Tel: +603 - 2266 2222
Fax: +603 - 2070 7500
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
11th Floor, Menara TH Perdana,
Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
MALAYSIA
Tel: +60 3 2612 5600
Fax: +60 3 2612 5620
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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