Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister,
Prime Minister?s Office Malaysia,
Main Block,
Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya
Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444
Email: [email protected]

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

?On 23 July 2015, travel bans were imposed on human rights defenders Ms Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Ms Maria Chin Abdullah, Mr Hishamuddin Rais and Mr Adam Adli Abdul Halim.

Maria Chin Abdullah is the chairperson of Bersih, a coalition of NGOs advocating for reforms within the current electoral system in Malaysia in order to ensure free and fair elections. The coalition includes human rights organisations such as the National Human Rights Society, Sister in Islam, Suaram, Trade Union Congress, and the Women’s Development Collective. Founded in 2006, the Coalition has organised three rallies calling for a transparent electoral process in the country and raising awareness to the irregularities in the electoral system.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan workes for the executive committee of the Women’s Aid Organisation and is involved in the Bar Council Special Committee on the rights of indigenous people. In 2009 she received the US International Women of Courage Award.

Hishamuddin Rais is a Malaysian film director and human rights defender. In 2013 Hishamuddin Rais was charged with sedition after participating in a protest against the widely contested election results. He was found guilty by the Sessions Court and fined RM5,000 ($1,314USD).

Adam Adli Abdul Halim campaigns for the protection of student rights and academic freedom. He also participated in the 2013 protest and was sentenced to a year in jail on September 19, 2014 on charges of sedition. He is currently out on bail and is appealing the court decision. Despite the court sentence, he had been able to travel freely.

On 23 July 2015, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Maria Chin Abdullah, Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli Abdul Halim were informed that, if they wished to travel, they would need to inform the nearest Department of Immigration Office. Ambiga was informed by the Immigration Department that she received a travel ban which covers travel to the east of Malaysia. She had travelled overseas the previous month and she has yet to be informed as to why she currently faces a travel ban.

Previously, Maria Chin Abdullah had been prevented from entering Sabah, while Ambiga found her name on the immigration blacklist of both Sabah and Sarawak when she tried to visit the states in November in 2014 and in 2011, respectively.

I express my concern at the travel ban imposed on human rights defenders Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Maria Chin Abdullah, Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli Abdul Halim, which I believe to be directly linked to their legitimate work in the defence of human rights in Malaysia.

I urge the authorities in Malaysia to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally remove all restrictions on the free movement of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Maria Chin Abdullah, Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli Abdul Halim, as it is believed that these measures are solely related to their legitimate human rights activities;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Malaysia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.


William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender & ?Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]




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