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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, 17 August 2011

Chiangmai HR Defender Meet and Hand letter of concerns to Japanese Consulate - 17/8/2011

Representatives of Human Rights Defenders went to the Japanese Consulate in Chiangmai on 17/8/2011 to protest the actions of Japanese company, Asahi Kosei in Malaysia, who has commenced a legal suit against Charles Hector, for his highlighting human rights worker rights violations that were happening to 31 Burmese migrant workers in the Asahi Kosei factory. They called on the Japanese government to get this Japanese company to drop the case, and focus its attention in ensuring justice for the migrant workers.

The letter that was handed over is  as follows:-

Mr Kazuo Shibata, Consul-General
Consulate of Japan
Unit 104 – 107
Airport Business Park
90 Mahidol Rd                                                        PO Box 7
T. Haiya                                                                   Chiang Mai University
A. Muang                                                                 Chiang Mai 50100
Chiang Mai 50100                                                 Thailand
                                                                                  Tel: 66860904118

RE:      Asahi Kosei USD 3.2 million   legal suited against Malaysian Human Rights        Defender, Charles Hector
Attachments: 1. Background to the Case
                          2. Statement Released by ITUC 

Dear Mr Consul General Kazuo Shibata,

We, organizations and individuals who work to protect and promote the rights of workers,  migrants, women and refugees,  write to express our deep and continuing concerns about the USD 3.2 million libel suited files by Asahi Kosei (M) Sdn Bhd  in Malaysia against Mr. Charles Hector, human rights activists, lawyer and bloggers by reason of his highlighting of complaints of 31 Burmese workers who were working at Asahi Kosei concerning human rights and worker rights violations.

The Japanese government is not a party to this civil suit, but we are concerned over the 'silence' and ‘inaction’ on the part of the Japanese government, being also a member of OECD, as this will be perceived as implied consent and support of this attack by a Japanese company against human rights defenders, in this case Charles Hector for highlighting human rights violations.

We would also like to reiterate the Malaysian Bar’s call made on February 21 2011 [1], being the “call on 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.”.

We also call on the Japanese 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, commonly 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.

The next trial date is August 24-26 . The matter is therefore of great urgency. We, labour rights and human rights activists, sincerely request you to respond to this issue immediately and protect the right of Charles Hector and migrant workers to expose exploitative working conditions and to end the shifting of responsibility by  Japanese companies that outsource.

Yours sincerely,

Jacqueline Pollock, Migrant Assistance Program, Chiang Mai, Thailand
(signed on behalf of the following organization and individuals):

Burma Relief Centre
Estelle Cohenny
Foundation for Education and Development (FED)
Geoff Thant
Hall Andy, IPSR, Mahidol University
Htoo Chit, Director, Foundation for the Health and Knowledge of Ethnic Labour
Khin Ohmar, Coordinator, Burma Partnership
 Lanna Action for Burma (LAB)
Omsin Boonlert
Moe Swe,  Yaung Chi Oo Workers Association (YCWOA)
Naing Aung, Secretary General, Forum for Democracy in Burma
Reena Arora
Sai Myint Thu, Secretary, Network for Democracy and Development
Studio Xang Art for Migrant Children


Report of the Delegation of HR Defenders from Chiangmai about the meeting:-

Chiang Mai Activists Meet Vice Consul of Consulate of Japan, Chiang Mai

This morning, 17th August, a delegation representing labour and human rights activists working with workers, migrants, women, refugees and children met with Vice Consul, Mr. Takashi Kohama of the Consulate of Japan in Chiang Mai. We presented a letter calling for the Japanese government to investigate the details of the USD 3.2 million defamation case brought against human rights lawyer and blogger, Charles Hector by a Japanese company Asahi Kosei (M) Sdn Bhd for posting information about exploitative working conditions for Burmese workers in the factory in Malaysia. The letter requested that action was taken to protect the right of Charles Hector and migrant workers to expose exploitative working conditions and to end the shifting of responsibility by Japanese companies that outsource. 

Vice Consul  Mr. Takashi Kohama expressed his concern regarding the situation. He said that in cases where Thai workers have been dissatisfied with working conditions of Japanese companies in Thailand, they have protested outside the Japanese embassy in Bangkok. Although these are cases between private companies and private workers, the embassy has tried to help a peaceful outcome to such situations.  He asked for details regarding the contact made in Malaysia with the Japanese embassy and it was reported that the Bar Council of Malaysia was at that time in a meeting with the embassy. Vice Consul  Mr. Takashi Kohama asked to be kept updated on the progress of the situation.

Jackie Pollock, Director
MAP Foundation
PO Box 7
Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Tel: 66860904118

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