Sunday, 8 March 2015

Human rights campaigner 'intimidated' by Malaysian government

A human rights campaigner says she is being "intimidated" after newspaper claims the Malaysian government had approached Interpol to track her down.

Doris Jones has lived in Northampton for 20 years, but is campaigning for independence for East Malaysia.

She said: "We are not allowed to practice freedom of speech. If you do you end up in prison."

Interpol said it has not been contacted by the Malaysian government about Ms Jones.

Ms Jones, 46, runs a social media movement called Sabah Sarawak Kelual Malaysia, which promotes the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia. She says she has 200 supporters under her control in the region.

"We urge the Malaysian Government to pursue laws and practices that foster tolerance”
Foreign Office spokesman

The area, also known as Malaysian Borneo, is located on the island of Borneo.

Malaysian media reports said police in the country were seeking help from Interpol to track down Ms Jones on allegations of incitement under the Sedition Act.

The Act was introduced in 1948 to use against communist insurgents, but today bans any act, speech or publication that brings contempt against the government.

Interpol said it had not been contacted by the Malaysian government about Doris Jones
Most privately-owned print titles in the country are run by business groups allied with the ruling coalition.

One of the articles appeared in The Star, which is majority-owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association, part of the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance.

'No contact'

Ms Jones said she would be "dragged by police to the court and imprisoned without charge" if she set foot in Malaysia.

She said police had threatened her family and taken mobile phones from them.

"My parents, brothers and sisters can't contact me at all," she said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the UK "defends the right of individuals to express their views without the threat of intimidation".

"We urge the Malaysian government to pursue laws and practices that foster tolerance," he said.

The Malaysian High Commission did not respond to BBC enquiries.


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