Assajjad Movement condemns the arrest of Malaysian Shia cleric

the arrest was made after ROS lodged a police report on the existence of Ja’fari movement whom are not registered as an association. However it is important to note here that on 24 July 2013, Secretary General of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi, said that it is decided by the Home Ministry that any Shia movement are not recognized and considered illegal. This according to him is in accordance with Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966. He was commenting an attempt by a Shia organization to apply to register with the The Registrar of Societies of Malaysia in the state of Melaka on June 18 2011, but was rejected on August 4 of the same year. Datuk Othman Mustapha, Head of Jabatan Kemajuan Agama Islam Malaysia (The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia under Prime Minister’s office) once stated that Shia is a banned faith in Malaysia under Sharia law, and any movement or activities as a community is also illegal and can be arrested under civil law. On 29th July 2013, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said that Malaysian government tolerates Christians, Hindus and other faith but wont allow Shia faith to exist as Malaysian Muslims are only entitled to be Sunni followers. He also stated that Shia is not a school of thought that is recognized. Malaysian government’s ill treatments against Shia adherents are resulted from a 1996 fatwa banning, outlawing and declaring Shia as ‘a deviant teaching’. Mr Kamil Zuhairi was released with two guarantors before midnight and the investigation is still ongoing. He is given a date to appear in court and is suspected of violating section 42 of the Societies Act. Mr Kamil will be given two months by ROS to give explanations or he will face charge. We denounce this act of the State as opressive as it violates the fundamental rights of human beings. The State should be reminded of its obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely. We believe this matter should be taken into consideration by Mr Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association.

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