KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 14 — The ongoing police investigations against the organisers of the International Women’s Day march should be stopped as it is unwarranted and unnecessary, says lawyer Syahredzan Johan.
In a statement today, Syahredzan said the probe, which is held under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA 2012) and Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, encroaches the rights of the organisers of the march.
“Media reports have shown that the organisers have provided the requisite 10 day’s notice to the police. There is no reason for the police to investigate the organisers under the PAA 2012, as the requirement under Section 9(1) of the said Act appears to have been complied with.
“As for the Sedition Act, it is a colonial vestige that is draconian, repressive, and has no place in any democratic country,” said Syahredzan, adding that the Act includes provisions which are disproportionate and gives unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech and expression.
He said the use of the Act is also contrary to the Pakatan Harapan government’s commitment to repeal the Act.
Syahredzan said the rights to freedom of speech and expression should not be restricted merely due to the justification that the exercise of these rights is not parallel to the government’s position or is unacceptable by some.
“Citizens in this country must be allowed their democratic right to dissent.
“I therefore call upon the police to immediately cease all investigations against the organisers of the International Women’s Day march,” he said, in reference to the rally held in the city on Saturday.