Target: President Obama
Goal: Speak of human rights violations in Malaysia and urge country to uphold these rights
President Barack Obama recently became the first U.S. president to set foot in Malaysia since 1996, during a visit that raised serious questions about the Malaysian government’s history of gross human rights violations. Add your name to this petition, and urge the Obama administration to continue pushing for human rights in Malaysia.
Despite Malaysia’s claim to be a tolerant and rights-respecting democracy, there is evidence to support that this is not the case. The government continues to use outdated and archaic laws to prosecute political opposition. One such opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was recently prosecuted and convicted for the second time during his political career under the country’s sodomy laws. Malaysia’s Sedition Act has also been used against other political figures and the “reform” legislation has been used to suppress peaceful protesters, especially during the May 2013 elections.
Other violations include the closing down of the human rights organization COMANGO, which recently highlighted human rights violated during the United Nations Human Rights Council. Malaysia’s government has targeted media outlets through the use of the country’s Printing Press and Publication Act and the Communications and Multimedia Act. The government requires all newspapers to seek approval before they can be opened, and those who criticize government leaders can expect their news company to be closed down. Police also abuse and detain Malaysian civilians, and use excessive force to disperse protesters. Police investigations are also not transparent or unbiased, leading to a public distrust towards police and security forces.
Sign this petition and urge President Obama to speak out against these rights violations. Make Malaysia own up to its crimes and make the government change. Human rights are inherent, and the government has no right to take them away from the people.
Dear President Obama,
I am urging you to continue putting pressure on the Malaysian government to end gross human rights violations. I realize that Malaysia has called themselves a tolerant and rights respecting country, but there is evidence to prove otherwise. I know you recently became the first U.S. president to visit the country since 1966, and it was necessary to tread lightly, but these violations cannot be ignored.
As President of the United States you have a duty to uphold human rights. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t turn a blind eye towards the unnecessary suffering of people. I urge you to speak up and show your support for freedom of speech and expression.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pete Souza via Wikimedia