Joint Solidarity Statement and Call for Support for Jannie Lasimbang
of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
5 May 2017
The prosecution appeal against Jannie Lasimbang, a prominent human rights and indigenous rights leader, is scheduled for 5 May 2017, after she was recently cleared from the trumped-up charges in organising the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly. JOAS and AIPP strongly condemn the judicial harassment and continued intimidation against Jannie and call on the Malaysian authorities to stop the harassment immediately
Jannie is the former Bersih 2.0 Vice Chair (Sabah) and former organising chairperson of Bersih Sabah’s fourth peaceful assembly (B4KK). She is also former Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and former Secretary-General of the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (JOAS) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).
In December 2016 at the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate Court, she was acquitted from all four charges: two main under Section 9 (1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) and two alternative under Section 15 (3) of the same act, which are allegations regarding the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly in 2015. The Magistrate has ruled that the prosecution failed to make a prima facie case against the accused after considering the evidence it has brought forward to the Court.
But the Deputy Public Prosecutor has pursued the case despite having over 200 civil society organizations (CSO) from around the world condemning the judicial harassment and intimidation against Jannie. Their joint petition submitted to Malaysian authorities in January 2016 and subsequently in April 2016 was not even acknowledged. The dismissals of the authorities, along with the pursuance of the case on appeal, are deemed as denial of the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly under Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution.
JOAS and AIPP want to remind the Malaysian authorities that the continued harassment of Jannie, along with other human rights defenders, and all other CSO activists in Malaysia, constitutes violations of national and international human rights obligations of the State, including under UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. JOAS and AIPP also urge the European Union delegation in Malaysia to take steps for protection of Jannie as per the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, including observing her trials, monitoring her situation and raising her case in meetings and dialogues of the EU representatives with the Malaysian authorities.
JOAS and AIPP request the public to show solidarity to Jannie and be ‘with’ her on her trial on 5 May 2017 at 9.00 AM in Kota Kinabalu High Court, Sabah through any of the following actions:
Source : www.iphrdefenders.net
JOAS is a network of 21 community-based non-governmental organisations that focuses on advocating indigenous peoples rights in Malaysia. It is one of the member-organisations of AIPP, a regional organisation of 48 indigenous organisations and movements from 14 countries in Asia.