URGENT ALERT – ARREST OF JOAS LEADERS

i know i have not been doing this (posting and blogging) for a long time but i have a good reason for it. i have been BUSY. so easy, huh. when you are busy the world has to stop. anyways, this is important. please do something about it: write, post it somewhere, take actions (if you know what i mean), and whatever else you feel like. i will post some stuff on the penans later, sorta to give you people who visit this blog and an idea on whats going on there. you probably know more than i do. so feel free to share. thanks!

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16 September 2009

Dear Friends,

URGENT ALERT – ARREST OF JOAS LEADERS

As Malaysia commemorates its 46th anniversary, 15 indigenous Sarawakians have been detained by Kuching police at 2:45 today for trying to send a memorandum of protest to the Sarawak Chief Minister. Among those arrested are Mark Bujang (BRIMAS), Raymond Abin (BRIMAS) and Hellan Empaing (WADESA), all leaders of the Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia) as well as representatives from the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan communities of Sarawak.

The contingent, consisting of 6 Penan, 4 Iban, 2 Kayan and 3 Kenyah are all representatives of communities who will be affected by two major dams which are being built in their areas. They had prepared a memorandum on the issue and were delivering it to Wisma Bapa Malaysia, the office of the Chief Minister. While waiting for endorsement of the document, they were arrested by local police. They are currently being held in the Kampung Gita Police Station in Petra Jaya, Kuching, Sarawak. It is uncertain whether they are being charged, or what reasons are being given for their detention.

Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia strongly condemns the detention of its members who were attempting to deliver a memorandum on behalf of the indigenous peoples of the Baram and Murum areas of Sarawak. The memorandum protested the State Government’s actions to build hydro electric dams in these areas without the free, prior and informed consent of the communities affected and without due regards to the status of the native lands involved. The actions of the State Government are in clear contradiction to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Malaysia strongly supports.

We also condemn the use of arrest to intimidate and silence the voices of the communities who are questioning the construction of large dams on the area. This demonstrates the unwillingness of the State Government to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in projects that affect them.

We call upon the Sarawak State Government to immediately release all fifteen Sarawakians and engage in a proper consultative process with the affected communities. We also call for the respect of the constitutional native land rights of these communities. It is also in violation of the right to peaceful assembly, guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

Take action:

1. URGENT: Please phone the Gita police station and ask after the well-being of the activists, ask what they are being charged with and demand their unconditional release in line with Constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly (Article 10).  Tel: ++6082-254417

2. Write to the following:

Chief Minister of Sarawak

YAB Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud

Chief Minister of Sarawak

22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia,

Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

mustaphah@sarawaknet.gov.my

FAX: +6082-444566


2. YB Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot

State Secretary of Sarawak

20th Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia

Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching,

Sarawak, Malaysia

wilsonbd@sarawaknet.gov.my

FAX: +6082-441677


3. Datu Haji Abdul Razak Tready

Sarawak Attorney-General

State AG’s Chambers

Level 16, Wisma Bapa Malaysia,

Petra Jaya

93502 Kuching,

Sarawak, Malaysia

razakt@sarawaknet.gov.my

FAX: +6082-440525


4. Tan Sri Musa bin Dato’ Hj Hassan

Ketua Polis Negara

Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia

Bukit Aman,50560 Kuala Lumpur

musa@rmp.gov.my

FAX: +603-22731326

5. Datuk Mohmed Salleh

Ketua Polis Negeri

Ibupejabat Polis Kontinjen Sarawak

Polis Diraja Malaysia

Jalan Badruddin,93560 Kuching,

Sarawak, Malaysia

mohmad@rmp.gov.my

FAX: +6082-257664

Yours truly,

Adrian Lasimbang

President

Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)

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