Friday, February 13, 2009

Malaysia's Human Rights Record Reviewed by the Human Rights Council, 11 Feb, 9.30-12.30am

On Wednesday, 11 February 2009, from 9.30pm to 12.30am (2.30 to 5.30pm in Geneva), the Human Rights Council will examine Malaysia's fulfillment of its human rights obligations and commitments through the Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR).

This will be webcasted live on

Amongst the questions asked by states during this session, for which Malaysia is expected to give an answer, are:
  • Malaysia's use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) to arrest and detain critics of the government, including indefinite extensions of detention and degrading treatment of detainees during detention
  • Malaysia's measures to protect the rights of the children of detainees/ prisoners
  • Malaysia's selective application of the right to freedom of assembly to those who support government policies, while it denies permission, arrests and conducts harsh crackdowns on those who oppose government policies
  • Malaysia's measures to guarantee freedom of religion for all citizens, including the right to leave a faith, the right to a place of worship for all faiths, and the right of non-Sunni Muslims to worship
  • Malaysia's treatment of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, in particular, their mass arrest, deportation, and detention in inhumane conditions; concerns are also raised about unwarranted violence by immigration officers and RELA during operations
  • Malaysia's criminalization of consensual sexual activity amongst people of the same sex
  • Malaysia's treatment of street children
  • Malaysia's measures to address patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes about the roles and responsibilities of women
  • Malaysia's measures to protect the rights and prevent discrimination of indigenous peoples
  • Malaysia's steps to ensure that SUHAKAM is in compliance with the Paris Principles
  • Malaysia's views on accession to core international human rights treaties
Within 48 hours after this session, a Working Group comprising selected states will write a Summary Report that list the issues raised and the recommendations made to Malaysia. This report will be formally adopted at the next Human Rights Council Session in June 2009. Malaysia will then be responsible for implementing these recommendations.


The UPR is a state-driven process under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, through which all 192 UN Member States are reviewed every four years. Through this process, the Human Rights Council reminds all states of their responsibility to respect and fulfill human rights obligations and commitments.

In examining Malaysia, the Human Rights Council will be considering:
  • A report submitted by the government of Malaysia, which is supposed to be drafted in broad consultation with stakeholders
  • A report compiled by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) summarizing information on human rights in Malaysia as collected through UN agencies and treaty bodies
  • A report summarizing submissions by SUHAKAM and civil society groups - including the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO), Migration Working Group & the Northern Network for Migrant and Refugees (MWG-JUMP), Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (JOAS), Bar Council of Malaysia, Amnesty International and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme & SUARAM (FIDH-SUARAM)

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