Take own advice on human rights, M’sia told

Source: MalaysiaKini

AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni

Malaysia should heed its own advice to the United States, for calling on the superpower to improve its human rights record, Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia said.

Malaysia advised the US to do so during the 22nd Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in Geneva on Monday.

“Malaysia must remember that the world is aware of its failing human rights record at home, especially against critics and dissent.

“The recent mass arrests of peaceful protesters, the clampdown on the freedom of expression, offline and online, as well as continued use of the death penalty for non-serious crimes constitute only a handful of human rights violations committed by Malaysia.

“Perhaps, it is time that Malaysia takes its own advice,” AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysia’s advised the US to stop excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, address discrimination against minority groups and ban torture and inhumane treatment of detainees.

Shamini said these were the same recommendations made to Malaysia its own UPR last March, which it had rejected.

110 deaths in custody over a decade

For example, she said, Malaysia had rejected the call to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

“In a country where over 110 deaths in police custody have occurred in the past decade, a rape allegation during police questioning in custody has surfaced and where a government agency admitted negligence in the death of former Selangor political aide Teoh Beng Hock, it is embarrassing to find that we are trying to hold other countries accountable while unable or unwilling to tackle the same issues at home,” Shamini said.

She said Malaysia’s advice that the US shuts down the Guantanamo Detention Facility also contradicts Malaysia newly-passed laws that allow for detention without trial.

“At the same time, only a handful of deaths that have occurred in police custody in Malaysia have been investigated while investigations into allegations of torture are rarely investigated,” she said.

Treatment of prisoners in Malaysian prisons also need serious attention, Shamini said.

Similarly, Malaysia’s all for the US to dump racial profiling and combat Islamophobia is at odds with practices at home where discrimination of minorities are codified in law.

The UPR is a peer-review mechanism which reviews the human rights records of all UN member states, and is convened by the United Nations Human Rights Council.



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