Press Statement

Stop targeting children for political offences

9 November 2015

Lawyers for Liberty is shocked and appalled at the police for targeting the children of Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali and grassroots activists Nashita Md Noor and Bad Latif Mansor for attending the Bersih 4 rally in August.

The investigation against the 15 year-old-boy and 14 year-old-girl respectively under the Peaceful Assembly Act is clearly selective and bad faith as the Bersih 4 rally ended peacefully with hundreds of thousands Malaysians in attendance including many children. What possible reason could the police provide for both these children to be singled out other than the fact of their parents’ background and political leaning?

We would like to remind the authorities of their responsibilities under the Child Act 2001 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect and assist children without any discrimination and that the welfare and best interest of the child should be the authorities’ first and foremost concern.

Investigating these children for merely exercising their right to peaceful assembly is clearly misconceived and unfortunately lends further credence that the police force remains highly politicised and selective when it comes to political offences.

We call on the police to go back to basics – to be a professional, impartial and competent police force in maintaining law and order, preventing and detecting real crimes and apprehending real criminals rather than be concerned with political offences involving the government’s political adversaries or their children.

Released by:

Eric Paulsen

Executive Director

Lawyers for Liberty

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