Call to halt abuse of power by authorities

13 Jul 2020 / 14:20 H.

THE WORK permit of the Bangladeshi man interviewed by Al Jazeera has been unlawfully revoked by the Immigration Department.

Lawyers for Liberty said in a statement that it viewed the matter with grave concern. It said Inspector-General of Police had on July 12, revealed that the Immigration Department has revoked the work permit of the Bangladeshi man interviewed in Al Jazeera’s highly controversial documentary “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown.”

The extent the authorities are willing to go to in order to hunt down one man for merely speaking up about his experience of injustice to the media is alarming. Through no fault of his own, the man has now been rendered undocumented by the authorities, said its coordinator Zaid Malek.

He described such doing as “blatant abuse of power and flouting of the law by the Immigration Department.”

Zaid said that Section 9(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 only allows the Director General of Immigration to cancel a permit if it is prejudicial to public order, public security, public health or morality in Malaysia.

“It is also inconceivable that the mere action of highlighting one’s plight to the media would fall under any of the categories listed under section 9(1)(c).”

He said that while the Immigration Department seems to be trying to legitimise the witch hunt on this man for daring to speak out against it, the act only serves to strengthen the allegation that migrants are being unfairly treated and targeted by the authorities.

On behalf of Lawyers for Liberty, Zaid called for the authorities to put an immediate stop to this persecution of an innocent man.

“This must not be allowed to continue. We demand the authorities immediately halt its unjustified and unlawful pursuit of this man and strongly urge the government to step in at once and stop this clear abuse of power by the authorities.”

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