|Allow peaceful assemblies, says UN rep|
|Monday, 10 September 2012 08:44am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR: Civil servants should be allowed to participate in peaceful assemblies as it is part of their fundamental right to do so, a forum heard.
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai, said the international right to assemble was for everyone.
“Civil servants in Malaysia should be allowed to join protests and not get into trouble for it,” he said during the question and answer session at the public forum on the “Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association: International Standards and Good Practices” yesterday.
It was jointly organised by the Bar Council's committees on human rights, constitutional law and criminal law.
Corporate bodies, added Maina, also should not punish their employees who joined such assemblies.
Peaceful assemblies, he said, was a good thing for the government as it was one way to get to know the people's feeling and wants.
“If it is not allowed, we risk uncivilised forms of dialogue.”
Governments, he said, should facilitate assemblies instead of controlling them, adding that counter gatherings were encouraged but should not be held on the same day to avoid problems.
Kiai also said that non-governmental organisations should be allowed to receive foreign funding.
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