Monday, March 31, 2014

Irene Fernandez

It takes a generous heart and tons of passion laced with compassion to do what Irene Fernandez did. Who did she did all these for? The normal Malaysians going about their daily lives probably not even realising the sacrifice and deeds of Irene. She did it for the country, the oppressed, the marginalised. She also did it for future Malaysians, the young ones, that the road they shall travel will be 'smoother' and less prejudiced. It is with people like Irene that we live in hope, for a better tomorrow, that the world is not as callous. A true Malaysian. As we the general public benefited knowingly or unknowingly, we must salute those left behind more than a legacy.

Wikipedia:  Irene Fernandez (1946-2014) is a Malaysian human rights activist. She is a PKR supreme council member [1] and the director and co-founder of the non-governmental organization Tenaganita, which promotes the rights of migrant workers and other oppressed and poor people in Malaysia.

In 1995, Irene Fernandez published a report on the living conditions of the migrant workers entitled "Abuse, Torture and Dehumanised Conditions of Migrant Workers in Detention Centres".[2] The report was based in part on information given to her by Steven Gan and a team of reporters from The Sun, who had uncovered evidence that 59 inmates, primarily Bangladeshis, had died in the Semenyih immigration detention camp of the preventable diseases typhoid and beriberi.[3][4] When Gan and his colleagues were blocked by Sun editors from printing the report in the paper, they passed it to Fernandez.[5]

She was arrested in 1996 and charged with 'maliciously publishing false news'.[5] After seven years of trial, she was found guilty in 2003 and convicted to one year's imprisonment. Released on bail pending her appeal, her passport was held by the courts, and as a convicted criminal, she was barred from standing as parliamentary candidate in the 2004 Malaysian elections.

In 2005, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "her outstanding and courageous work to stop violence against women and abuses of migrant and poor workers".[6]

Irene Fernandez's appeal at the High Court resumed on 28 October 2008. On 24 November 2008, Justice Mohd Apandi Ali overturned her earlier conviction and acquitted her, ending the thirteen-year case.[7][8]

1 comment:

SqaureOne said...

A salute to a True Malaysian fighting for injustice for all

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