Irene Fernandez
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AHRC URGENT APPEAL: MALAYSIA: Update on Irene Fernandez convicted under Printing Presses and Publication Act of 1984

UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

Update on Urgent Appeal 20 October 2003

[RE: AHRC UA-990205: Malaysia: Irene Fernandez Charged Under Printing Presses and Publication Act of 1984 on 05 February 1999, UP-43-2003: MALAYSIA: Human rights activist Irene Fernandez found guilty of maliciously publishing false news]

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UP-44-2003: MALAYSIA: Irene Fernandez sentenced to 12 months in jail

MALAYSIA: Update on Irene Fernandez convicted under Printing Presses and Publication Act of 1984
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Dear friends

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) that Irene Fernandez was sentenced to jail for 12 months by the Magistrates Court 5B, Kuala Lumpur, on 16 October 2003. However, she is out on bail in the amount of RM 3,000 and filed an appeal to the High Court on 17 October 2003.

Irene Fernandez, Director of Tenaganita, an NGO that works with migrant women, was charged under Section 8A(2) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 with "maliciously publishing false news" for releasing a memorandum at a press conference in 1995 on alleged torture and death in immigration detention centres. She was found guilty by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court of maliciously publishing false news on 16 October 2003.

Regarding Irene Fernandez's case, the judge suddenly decided to advance the date of Fernandez's judgement to 15 October 2003, which was originally planned to take place on 17 March 2004. Many human rights organizations expressed their fear that this new date might have been set up on purpose in order to take advantage of the absence of Irene Fernandez's Senior counsel for the trial, Mr. Pura Valen. Under the "exceptional circumstances" that her lead counsel Mr. Puravalen was absent, and instead lawyers from the Bar council were present in court, Irene Fernandez personally completed her oral submission, standing in the dock in reply to the Prosecution's written submission.

Please support her and send an email, fax or letter to the Government of Malaysia and request them to quash the judgement against Irene Fernandez. A sample letter and addresses of the local authorities of Malaysia can be found at: http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2003/547/

Thank you.

Kim Soo A
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

** If you want to contact the Urgent Appeal program of the AHRC, kindly send an email to ua@ahrchk.org and NOT to ua@ahrchk.info

Posted on 2004-01-09
 
Asian Human Rights Commission
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