Support Human rights defenders ; Support The Charles Hector Legal Defence Fund

For highlighting information about human rights violations suffered by 31 Burmese Migrant Workers who were working at Asahi Kosei(M) Sdn Bhd, in Charles Hector Blog, HR Defender, Charles Hector, has been sued for RM10 million by the said company.

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ALIRAN has up a fund so that concerned groups and persons can contribute to the legal cost and expenses incurred by Charles Hector, Human Rights Defender, in the legal suit initiated by Asahi Kosei (M) Sdn Bhd. A lot of financial support is needed and your immediate assistance is needed.

Payments can be made by bank transfer to:

Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Bank account number:

107 246 109 510

Malayan Banking Berhad, Green Lane branch, Penang, Malaysia.

(If you are outside Malaysia, please include the “SWIFT” code for our bank: MBBEMYKL)

Please also email us at to indicate that it is a donation to Hector’s Legal Defence Fund.

Donations may also be made by cheque or bank draft made payable to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara. Mail your cheque/bank draft to us at 103, Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong, Penang, Malaysia, indicating clearly that it is a donation to the Hector Legal Defence Fund. []

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Malaysian Bar : - Defend human rights defenders and safeguard migrant workers (21/2/2011)

Press Release: Defend human rights defenders and safeguard migrant workers

Monday, 21 February 2011 10:55am
Image Asahi Kosei (M) Sdn Bhd’s threat to bring a RM10 million defamation lawsuit against Charles Hector, a Member of the Malaysian Bar, is a deplorable and coercive act.  The Japanese-owned Malaysian company has demanded this sum over a blog article by Charles Hector in which the latter alleges that, in response to grievances raised by 31 of their workers from Myanmar, the company threatened the workers with termination of employment and possible deportation back to Myanmar.  The complaints ranged, it was alleged, from non-payment of agreed wages, unlawful deductions, and monetary penalties for absences from work.

We call on both the Malaysian and Japanese authorities to launch immediate investigations into the authenticity of the allegations that Charles Hector has brought to light, and to act immediately to prevent the committing or continuation of any human rights abuses against migrant workers.

Instead of harassing them and threatening them with incarceration, sedition or, in this case, defamation, state and non-state actors would do well to study the allegations made by human rights defenders like Charles Hector on behalf of voiceless migrant workers.  They should also carefully study the terms and conditions of work to which migrant workers are subject, the conditions under which they live, and the restrictions under which they are placed, to ensure that these conform to internationally-accepted standards.

The case also brings to light the practice, permitted by the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Human Resources, of allowing selected companies who have no labour operations themselves to nonetheless recruit foreign workers from overseas, and then to outsource these workers to third parties for a fee.     

To avoid any further incidents of abuse against migrant workers, or allegations of the same, the Malaysian Bar calls upon the Government to quickly ratify and implement the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 18 Dec 1990, and to give full effect to the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, made on 13 Jan 2007.  

The Malaysian Bar also calls on the Government to support and uphold the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, otherwise known as the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 Dec 1998.  In particular, we urge the Government to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of these human rights defenders from any violence, threats, retaliation, adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of their legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the Declaration.

This incident gives the Government a clear opportunity to improve its less-than-sterling record of protecting those who stand up for human rights.

Ragunath Kesavan
Malaysian Bar

21 February 2011

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