9 January 2008
Head of Penan,
a Aboriginal People
The Observatory has been informed by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) of the death of Mr. Kelesau Naan, head of Penan, a nomadic aboriginal people in Sarawak (Borneo), after more than two months of disappearance.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Malaysia.
Description of the situation:
According to the information received, on December 17, 2007, Mr. Kelesau Naan’s skull and body bones were found at Sungai Segita with broken bones of his hand and signs of being hit with sharp object, suggesting possible assault before his death.
Mr. Kelesau Naan, who was last seen on October 23, 2007, was one of the main leaders in the blockade campaign against logging of forest in their customary land in the Upper Baram region, where tensions between the indigenous peoples and logging companies have escalated in recent months over logging issues, as well as one of the four plaintiffs and a key witness to a court case on the claim of customary land by Penan in Sarawak that has been awaiting judgment since 1998.
The Observatory expresses its deep concern about Mr. Kelesau Naan’s death and fears that it might be the result of his human rights activities in favour of indigenous issues. The Observatory further recalls that Malaysia was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2006 for three years and is committed in this regard to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” .
The Observatory also recalls that according to Article 12.2 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.
Please write to the Malaysian authorities, urging them to:
i.Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Mr. Kelesau Naan, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;
ii.Guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to his relatives
iii.Put an end to all acts harassment against human rights defenders in Malaysia;
iv.Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as above-mentioned Article 12.2;
v.More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Malaysia.
Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security Prime Minister’s Office Malaysia, Perdana Putra Building, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 PUTRAJAYA, Selangor, Malaysia., Tel: + 60 3 8888 6000, Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tan Sri Musa Hassan, Inspector General of Police, Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia, 50560 Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tel: +603 2262 6015 Fax: +603 2272 5613 / 603 2273 1326.
Mr. Tan Sri Abu Talib bin Othman, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Tingkat 29, Menara Tun Razak, Jalan Raja Laut, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Fax-03-26125620; Email: email@example.com
Ambassadeur King Bee Hsu, ICC-1er/ H, Pré-Bois 20, P.O. 1834, CH-1215, Geneva 15, Switzerland, Email : firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +4122 710 75 01
Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels, 414 A avenue de Tervueren, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, Tel: + 32 2 776 03 40. Fax: + 32 2 762 50 49.
Please also write to the embassies of Malaysia in your respective countries.
*** Geneva - Paris, January 9, 2008
Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: Tel and fax: FIDH : +33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 33 1 43 55 18 80 Tel and fax: OMCT : + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29 E-mail : Appeals@fidh-omct.org