Posts Tagged ‘Mugiyanto’

Malaysian Bersih 2.0 (Walk for Democracy) wins Gwangju human rights award

April 26, 2016

Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

Bersih 2.0 (also called the Walk for Democracy) has won South Korea’s 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights for its efforts in pushing for electoral reform in Malaysia. The Bersih 2.0 steering committee, in a statement, said it was proud for being acknowledged for its work through the Gwangju award. “This acknowledgement is the result of the fight of the people of Malaysia who had gathered peacefully as many as four times in the city centre to seek a clean and fair electoral system in the country…The people have also proved their patriotic spirit when they walked the streets to defend the constitution, freedom to gather, voice an opinion and seek information,” it said. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all non governmental organisations overseas who have supported Bersih 2.0 all these years.”

The committee said Bersih 2.0 was nominated by Indonesian activist Mugiyanto from the International NGO forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) and Malaysian activist Yap Swee Seng. The award ceremony will take place on May 18 at the Memorial Foundation in South Korea.

Source: Bersih 2.0 wins South Korean human rights award | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bersih_2.0_rally

ASEAN human rights defenders formulate demands ahead of People’s Forum later this month

April 1, 2015

ASEAN People's Forum

Casey Hynes reports on 26 March that human rights defenders are preparing to bring up strongly the case of their missing Laotian colleague Sombath Somphone at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum that convenes in Kuala Lumpur on 21-24 April 2015. Sombath was kidnapped in Vientiane, Laos, in 2013 [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/laos-un-experts-on-two-year-old-disappearance-of-human-rights-defender-sombath-somphone/].

The ACSC/APF allows civil society activists from all the ASEAN countries to voice their concerns about rights violations in their countries, and become empowered by the strength in numbers there. In countries such as Laos and Vietnam, dissent is often suppressed with jail time or enforced disappearances, which makes it extremely dangerous for activists to speak out. Jerald Joseph, chair of the APF’s Regional Steering Committee, said that by coming to the forum, activists who face risks in their home countries find a safer space to voice their concerns.

ACSC/APF organizers recently condemned the crackdown on protesters in Burma, where 100 people were arrested for speaking out against a new education law. They also pointed to a spate of political arrests in Malaysia and the murder of Indonesian farmer and lands rights activist Indra Pelani, who was allegedly shot to death by “security guards of a subsidiary company of Asia Pulp and Paper”.

There are numerous cases where human rights defenders have just disappeared. Somchai Neelapaijit in Thailand, Sombath Somphone in Laos, and Jonas Burgos in the Philippines—where are they?” said Mugiyanto, a member of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development.

The Laos government is notorious for restricting civil society activism, and for routinely committing human rights abuses. However, Laos is set to take over the ASEAN chairmanship in 2016, and Joseph said they’ll have to answer for some of their abuses when that happens. Already, civil society actors have been discussing the rights situation in Laos with activists and government officials there. “The conversation has started, and the pressure is up already,” he said in a phone interview.

Participating organizations sent a letter on behalf of the ACSC/APF to all the ASEAN member governments in January, highlighting their priorities for “reclaiming the ASEAN community for the people.”

The letter stated:

While ASEAN governments are heading towards developing the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision, the people of ASEAN continue to suffer from authoritarian and military regimes, increased militarisation, violence and armed conflicts, unlawful foreign interference, lack of fundamental freedoms and human rights violations, undemocratic processes, corruption and poor governance, development injustice, discrimination, inequality, and religious extremism and intolerance. …

The failure of ASEAN to meaningfully address the people’s issues is deeply rooted in the organisation’s continued adherence to a neo-liberal model that prioritizes corporate interests and elite groups, including state-owned enterprises, over the interests of the people. Our engagement with the ASEAN process is therefore anchored on a critique and rejection of deregulation, privatisation, government and corporate-led trade and investment policies that breed greater inequalities, accelerate marginalization and exploitation, and inhibit peace, democracy, development, and social progress in the region.

The authors identified four priorities for ASEAN governments to focus on: development justice; democratic processes, governance, and fundamental rights and freedoms; peace and security; and discrimination and inequality.

ASEAN rights activists demand change ahead of People’s Forum | Asian Correspondent.