Urgent Interventions

Harassment against Ms. Cynthia Gabriel, SUARAM Secretariat Member

MYS 002 / 0813 / OBS 075



August 13, 2013

The Observatory for the Protection of Human RightsDefenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in Malaysia.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informedby Suara RakyatMalaysia (SUARAM)about the harassment against Ms. CynthiaGabriel, SUARAM Secretariat Member, allegedly inretaliation for SUARAM’s role in exposing a corruption case involving theMalaysian Government and related to the Scorpene submarine scandal, involvingat least RM 500 million in suspected kickbacks.

According to the information received, on August 7, 2013, at 3 pm, Ms. CynthiaGabriel went to IPD Petaling Jaya police station to be investigated underSection 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948. The investigation took place afterSUARAM was informed that a police report was lodged against the organisation inrelation to a fundraising dinner it organised on July 19, 2013 in order toraise funds for the Scorpene case, which is pursued by SUARAM before a Frenchcourt.

Duringthe investigation of Ms. Cynthia Gabriel, the Investigating Officer didnot share or detail the content of the police report that was reportedlybrought against SUARAM in regards to the Scorpene dinner. The questions focusedon SUARAM and its work generally, including its policies and positions, andparalleled the questions that were asked last year when SUARAM facedinvestigations from the Company Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the Registrar ofSociety (RoS) and the police from July 2012 to March 2013. The intention ofthese investigations was also to harass and intimidate SUARAM for its work onthe Scorpene case; the RoS withdrew all pending notices against SUARAM in March2013[1].

TheObservatory condemns the ongoing harassment of SUARAM members and calls on the Malaysian authorities to put an end immediately to the judicialharassment against Ms. Cynthia Gabriel, allSUARAM members as well as against all human rights defenders andorganisations operating in the country.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Malaysia,urging them to:

i. Put an end to anykind of harassment - including at judicial level - against Ms. Cynthia Gabriel and all members of SUARAM, aswell as against all other human rights defenders in Malaysia, and ensurein all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activitieswithout any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

ii. Conform with the provisions of the UNDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of theUnited Nations on December 9, 1998, especially:

- itsArticle 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and inassociation with others, to promote and to strive for the protection andrealisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national andinternational levels”, as well as

- itsArticle 12.2, which provides that the State shall “take all necessary measuresto ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individuallyand in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, defacto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary actionas a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of his or her rights”;

iii. Ensure in all circumstances respect forhuman rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rightsstandards and international instruments ratified by Malaysia.


· Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s OfficeMalaysia, Main Block, Perdana Putra Building, Federal Government AdministrativeCentre, 62502 Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia.Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444, Email:

· Mr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of HomeAffairs, Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,62546 Putrajaya, Malaysia. Fax: +60 3 8889 1613 /8889 1610, Email:

· Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Chairman of the HumanRights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Tingkat 11, Menara TH Perdana, Jalan SultanIsmail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Fax: +60 3 2612 5620;Email:;

· H.E.Mr. Mazlan Muhammad, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to theUnited Nations in Geneva, International Centre Cointrin (ICC), Bloc H (1stfloor), Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 710 7501. Email:

· Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels, 414 Aavenue de Tervueren, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 50 49.Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies ofMalaysia in your respective country as well as to the EU diplomaticmissions or embassies in Malaysia.


Geneva-Paris, August 13,2013

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, isdedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer themconcrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergencyline:

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1]See Observatory Urgent Appeal MYS 001/1012/OBS 095, issued on October 19, 2012.

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