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(Washington, DC) --In response to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement today that the Malaysian government will seek to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), lift all emergency proclamations, and repeal or review other restrictive laws, Amnesty International said:
"Prime Minister Najib's repeal of the ISA is a significant step forward for human rights in Malaysia. The ISA is a notoriously repressive piece of legislation that has stifled peaceful dissent in the country for over 50 years," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director. "The thousands of people still detained under these preventive detention laws must be either charged with a recognizably criminal offence, or be released immediately."
Prime Minister Najib also proposed two new laws to preserve peace and public order and combat terrorism.
"The Prime Minister must ensure that the Malaysian government removes other barriers to free speech and peaceful assembly in existing laws. And any new legislation must comply with international human rights standard," added Zarifi.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.