Malaysia urged to lift NGO ban

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Rupert Colville

The UN human rights office has urged authorities in Malaysia to amend a 1996 law that has been used to ban a coalition of 54 civil society organizations in the country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs of Malaysia has declared that a group called COMANGO, consisting mainly of non-Islamic organizations, promotes rights which are not in line with Islam and is therefore illegal.

Spokesperson Rupert Colville says the UN human rights office is concerned about what appears to be an act of reprisal against COMANGO for its reports to the UN Human Rights Council.

"The COMANGO coalition submitted joint reports to both the 2009 and 2013 Universal Periodic Reviews of Malaysia. Since its submission to the second cycle of the UPR, which took place on 24 October 2013, the coalition has reportedly been subjected to a series of harassment and threats, allegedly by both state and non-state actors. The coalition has been accused of attacking Islam and of spreading beliefs that do not conform to Islamic teachings." (29")

Rupert Colville says United Nations officials have persistently called for the protection of individuals and members of groups from acts of intimidation or reprisal.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’28″

 

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