Friday, March 21, 2014

M'sia rejects remaining human right conventions

Malaysia has rejected all recommendations to accede to the remaining six human rights conventions it is yet to sign.

It has also rejected to remove reservations on conventions it already acceded to at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process held late last year.

The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs for the UPR Process (Comango), in a press statement today, said the Human Rights Council officially adopted the outcome report on Malaysia’s second UPR review, in which the government accepted 150 out of 232 recommendations made to it.

"It is disappointing that while Malaysia received the most recommendations regarding the abolition of the death penalty, all such recommendations were rejected," said Comango co-secretariat member, Yap Swee Seng.

Comango also said that Malaysia rejected recommendations to accede to the Convention on Torture as well as to abolish the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, Prevention of Crimes Act and the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Malaysia also rejected all recommendations to ensure laws and policies concerning indigenous people are in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

"Malaysia also rejected a recommendation to address issues highlighted in the National Inquiry into the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples pending the outcome of a task force set up to review the findings of the inquiry.

"Indigenous representatives make up only 30 percent of this task force," Yasmin Masidi, another co-secretariat member of the coalition, said.

Recommendations on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) were rejected outright by Malaysia, as expected.

Government supporters had criticised Comango for allegedly spreading the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community’s agenda with its pursuit to make oral submissions during the UPR process.

The Home Ministry even announced a ban on Comango shortly after the conclusion of the UPR process.

"The Malaysian government must end the attacks, with impunity, against human rights defenders both from NGOs and other public figures.

"It should not support groups bent on suppressing civil society voices," said Jerald Joseph, a Pusat Komas representative who is also part of Comango.

~ Malaysiakini

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