As a native-born Malaysian living in the UK, I was ashamed and distressed to learn about the reported treatment of defendants and assaults on lawyers trying to assist them after the April 2012 protest incident. In the 21st century this human rights abuse by a UN member state must not go unchallenged.

Malaysia is a multiracial country but still a place where institutionalised racism is officially promoted in the guise of positive discrimination, and human rights abuses are covered up by some government officials, particularly by the Malay-dominated police and politicians. It is revealing that I do not want my name appended to this letter since my family and I would face repercussions, even though I am not a political activist. Those who love justice and fair treatment should unite, and publicly condemn the mistreatment of defendants and their lawyers who have been assaulted for carrying out their duties.

The secretary general of the UN, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the International Bar Association should be called upon to take this matter up and investigate further.

Name and address supplied

LinkedIn logo Join our LinkedIn Human Rights sub-group