16 MAY 2016

I strongly condemn the government’s high-handed action in barring Maria Chin Abdullah from leaving Malaysia yesterday and thus depriving her of her fundamental right to freedom of movement.

This is again another instance of the arrogance of power which the UMNO-BN government has been displaying all too frequently without any regard to the principles of democracy and rule of law.

While no explanation was provided for the high-handed action, it was known that Maria was on her way to South Korea to receive the 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights on behalf of BERSIH 2.0.

This is a prestigious award given in recognition of individuals and organizations that have contributed towards promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace. There is no Malaysian organization more deserving of such recognition than BERSIH 2.0.

Undoubtedly, such arbitrary action by the Najibadministration is politically motivated and indicative of a government drunk on power with absolutely no regard for democratic accountability.

We demand that Maria’s constitutional right to travel abroad be restored immediately.