Malaysia

Free speech under assault in Malaysia as government targets students, online critics and journalists

In recent months, student activists and social media critics have been targeted for insulting the King while parody accounts are being probed. Foreign journalists from Al-Jazeera and a whistle blower were forced to leave the country following a documentary on the abuses of undocumented migrants during the pandemic while press freedom has also deteriorated. A watered-down police oversight bill that has been proposed lacks the teeth needed to hold the police to account.
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Free speech under assault in Malaysia as government targets students, online critics and journalists

Malaysian police ramp up persecution of Al Jazeera, journalists and activists to stifle criticism

Since April 2020, there has been a systematic campaign of judicial harassment by the Perikatan Nasional government targeting the media and journalists for their reporting, including independent news outlet Malaysiakini and Al Jazeera. The authorities are pursuing activists and government critics, as well as opposition parliamentarians, using an array of restrictive laws to stifle criticism. Individuals calling for or holding peaceful protests have also been questioned or arrested. Read more

Malaysian police ramp up persecution of Al Jazeera, journalists and activists to stifle criticism

Reforms at risk in Malaysia while repressive laws continue to be deployed around the pandemic

Since the change of government in early March 2020, activists and protesters have faced judicial harassment from the police for their activism and restrictive laws have been used to charge individuals for spreading misinformation on the COVID-19 virus and for insulting royalty. Further there has been a lack of progress by the government taskforce into into the disappearance of activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh. Read more

Reforms at risk in Malaysia while repressive laws continue to be deployed around the pandemic

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

In past few months, human rights activists Sevan Doraisamy and Rama Ramanathan faced harassment, including being taken in for questioning for speaking up and criticising the authorities. Activist Maryam Lee is being investigated by the Islamic authorities because of her writing. The courts have also failed to protect women’s rights group Sisters in Islam from being deemed “deviant’ by the Islamic authorities. Read more

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

In recent months, there has been the continue use of defamation laws by the police and courts to arrest, prosecute and uphold sentences. Revisions to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 still falls short of international laws and standards while the police intelligence unit has been linked to the enforced disappearance of two individuals. Read more

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

Criminal defamation laws used to prosecute online criticism of religion and monarchy

In recent months there have been arrests and prosecution of individuals under defamation laws for criticising the monarchy and religion online while human rights defenders continue to face police questioning for dissent. A women’s day march has come under attack while the indigenous Orang Asli community continues to defend their land against encroachment. Read more

Criminal defamation laws used to prosecute online criticism of religion and monarchy

Moratorium on use of repressive laws lifted despite promises at the UN human rights council

In November 2018, Malaysia underwent a review at the Human Rights Council and reiterated its commitment to human rights reforms. Despite this in December 2018 it decided to lift a moratorium on the use of restrictive laws Read more

Moratorium on use of repressive laws lifted despite promises at the UN human rights council

Despite commitment to reforms in Malaysia, fundamental freedoms still being restricted

In the last few months students have been arrested for protesting in Malaysia, individuals have been probed using the Sedition Act for peaceful expression and the LGBT community continues to be targeted Read more

Despite commitment to reforms in Malaysia, fundamental freedoms still being restricted

Slow progress on human rights reforms as new government approaches 100-day mark

Despite commitments by the new government to implement a comprehensive program of legislative and institutional reform and strengthening human rights protections , progress has been slow Read more

Slow progress on human rights reforms as new government approaches 100-day mark

Activist convicted for satirical caricature of prime minister

Activist and artist Fahmi Reza was convicted for posting a clown caricature of the prime minister on social media . Courts maintains travel ban on political cartoonist Zunar. Proposed legislation to curb fake news raises concerns Read more

Activist convicted for satirical caricature of prime minister