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. []

Friday, 11 March 2011

Malaysian human rights defender in court over support for outsourced migrant workers

07 March 2011
Last Friday 4 March 2011, Charles Hector, a Malaysian human rights defender, activist, lawyer & blogger, met in court with the Japanese electronics company Asahi Kosei. Charles Hector is being sued by Asahi Kosei for defamation for raising concerns about human rights and labour rights violations at the facilities of said company in Malaysia. Mr Hector spread information on his blog and via twitter about the case of 31 Burmese migrant workers who face deportation threats. Before he publicly posted any information, however, Charles Hector sent an email to the company for clarification and verification, which contained also these words, “If there are anything that you would like to correct, kindly revert to me immediately. …An urgent response would be appreciated. Failing to hear from you, I would take it that the allegations of the workers are true.” The company did not respond, but in stead commenced a legal suit.

Charles Hector is receiving support from all over the world. At the 4 March hearing, several civil society organisations were present, including human rights groups and the Burmese migrant community, as a show of support and solidarity.

At the hearing last Friday, the court granted an adjournment for the company to file affidavits in reply to affidavits submitted by Charles Hector, and for the latter to put in any reply after that. In the mean time, the court granted a ‘holding-over’ order until  the next hearing which is scheduled for 21 March.

In his defense and counter-claim, Charles Hector is seeking declarations that determine that a company that is supplied workers by an outsourcing agent, becomes the de-facto employer of such workers, and consequently has the same duties and obligations of any employer regarding these workers. This is indeed the core of the matter: the question whether and to what extent Asahi Kosei bears responsibility over its outsourced workers.

16 February, GoodElectronics, makeiTfair and other organisations wrote to Asahi and some of its buyers calling upon the company to refrain from legal action toward human rights defenders and opt for dialogue about the labour dispute. Asahi has not responded to this letter. Of the addressed customers only Philips responded, stating that "Asahi is no longer a supplier to Philips. We stopped doing business with Asahi about 10 years ago. We will therefore not take up this issue with Asahi. I trust one of its current customer will investigate the issue in accordance with the EICC standard. Unfortunately, it happens frequently that suppliers continue to mention Philips as a customer even after Philips discontinues the business relation with them. We have asked Asahi to remove our name from their websites, which they have agreed to do". On being asked, Philips promised to table this case with the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition EICC.


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