|Allow visit by UN reps: Suhakam|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:16am|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by TAN YI LIANG
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian government should allow three UN special rapporteurs on human rights to make an official visit to Malaysia, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
In an sms sent to theSun yesterday, Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said Suhakam always recommends that the government allows all outstanding invitations to UN special rapporteurs on human rights as part of the UN human rights compliance mechanism.
“As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, it is incumbent upon Malaysia to respect and comply with UN human rights monitoring mechanisms, including visits by UN special rapporteurs on human rights.”
Muhammad Sha’ani was asked to comment on the recent call by the Bersih 2.0 steering committee for the government to heed requests by three UN special rapporteurs to make an official visit over the Bersih 3.0 rally. The three are Maina Kiai, Margaret Sekaggya and Frank La Rue.
On June 7, Sekaggya urged the government to protect Bersih 2.0 steering committee chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Bersih members from harassment, investigate the allegations made against her thoroughly and punish the perpetrators.
Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said any proposed visit by the three special rapporteurs would be beneficial to Malaysia.
“It provides them an opportunity to engage on the ground with the various state and non-state actors on the exercise of the constitutional right of assembly,” said Lim, adding that the visit would be a two-way learning experience.
“We trust and are confident that the government will welcome their visit, engage them and facilitate access by them to the relevant state actors, including the police,” said Lim.
At a press conference on May 11, Lim had said a UN special rapporteur would have been appropriate on the independent panel formed to probe incidents of brutality during the rally.
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