#Human Rights
Mayor of Fremantle

62 NGOs under the non-partisan "Bersih 2.0" umbrella had called for clean, free and fair elections in Malaysia. In the lead up to mass rally on July 9, 2011, the government clamped down on all voice of dissent and accuse such the movement of attempting to overthrow a legitimated government.

Among the accusations were communist elements in the movement which led to 6 socialist party (PSM) members being arrested on July 2, 2011 and detained to date with trail. We call for international pressure on the Malaysian government to release all six detainees with immediate effect.

One of the avenues is through the Mayor of Fremantle, which has sister cities relations with Seberang Perai in Malaysia.

Dr Brad Pettitt
Town Hall Centre
8 William Street
Fremantle WA 6160

Dear Dr Pettitt,

Expressions of Concern over the actions of the Government of Malaysia

We, the undersigned, are residents of Fremantle and Perth who are of Malaysian origin or supporters of democratic practices in Malaysia. We view with grave concern the recent actions taken by the Government of Malaysia against its citizens in relation to the 'Walk for Democracy' organised by the coalition for free and fair election, known by their Malaysian acronym, 'BERSIH 2.0'. Those actions include arresting and detaining citizens for advocating a call for free and fair elections and promoting the Walk for Democracy.

In the course of carrying out such arrests and detentions, the Government of Malaysia had on 2nd July 2011 detained six activists who are members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia under the Emergency Ordinance, which allows for detention without trial. The Emergency Ordinance is an archaic piece of legislation which was used in circumstances when the country faced subversive internal threats that warranted the declaration of an emergency. No such threat exists today that warrants maintaining such draconian powers of detention nor has the Government of Malaysia offered any evidence to suggest an emergency situation exists within the borders of the country.

The six activists, who remain under detention without trial to this day, are:

1. Dr. Michael Jayakumar Devaraj
2. Saravathy Muthu
3. Choo Chon Kai
4. Sugumaran Munisamy
5. Letchumanan Aseerpatham
6. Saratbabu Raman

We are outraged and strongly condemn the government's detention of these six activists. We find it appalling that the Government of Malaysia would resort to an archaic law to deprive these six activists of their civil liberties including their right to a fair trial. We view this action as a blatant attempt to intimidate Malaysian citizens from exercising their civil and political rights.

We have learnt that the City of Fremantle enjoys sister city status with Seberang Prai, a Malaysian city and as a result, the City of Fremantle enjoys an especially cordial relationship with the Government of Malaysia that includes frequent liaisons with the Counsel General of Malaysia in Perth.

We therefore ask that your good office notify the Counsel General of our demand for the release of the six detainees and seek an explanation from the Counsel General as to why these six detainees have been held without charge for this length of time.

We would deeply appreciate you raising these issues with the Counsel General of Malaysia, in the interest of human rights.

The Free 6 Detainees without trial - Malaysia petition to Mayor of Fremantle was written by Soon Yap and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.