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Friday, July 30, 2021

Suhakam urges authorities to facilitate #Lawan protest

 


The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has urged the police and other authorities to facilitate the #Lawan protest slated to take place at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.

While acknowledging that it is difficult to balance public health priorities with the constitutional right to peaceful assembly, the commission said the recent arrests of activists linked to the assembly are concerning.

“Whilst understanding the complexity of the situation, Suhakam, however, expresses its concerns over the arrest of organisers and the activists of a planned assembly whilst their belongings were confiscated by the police.

“Suhakam advises the authorities, in particular the police, that they have an obligation, both legally and morally, to facilitate peaceful assemblies and to protect freedom of expression,” it said in a statement today.

It said authorities should also provide adequate space at an appropriate location for the assembly to take place.

This would allow physical distancing and health screening measures to be implemented safely, it said.

As for the organisers and participants, Suhakam urged them to always ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures.

Those with Covid-19 symptoms or comorbidities should refrain from attending the protest, it said.

“Suhakam hopes that all parties including the police and the organisers are able to collaborate in order to achieve a win-win solution, in line with respecting the rights for peaceful assembly whilst managing current public health SOPs,” it said.

The call from the national human rights organisation came following the arrest and questioning of several activists in relation to the protest.

The protest is organised by Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) to call for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet to resign and has prepared a set of guidelines to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection. - Mkini

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