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Koreans to show solidarity for Malaysian campaign

People in Korea show solidarity for Malaysian campaign

By Kirsty Taylor

Pro-democracy campaigners in Korea are to push for free and fair Malaysian elections this weekend.
A show of solidarity for people in Kuala Lumpur is to be held in Seoul on Saturday, as part of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) campaign calling for an end to dirty politics in the country.
Amnesty International has published a press release on the issue saying that Malaysian authorities are arbitrarily arresting and detaining scores of peaceful electoral reform protesters in what it called “the worst repression of free speech and freedom of assembly in recent years.”
Since June 24, more than 100 activists have been arrested or questioned by police over their support of the electoral reform rally since June 24, according to Amnesty.
“The Malaysian authorities are muzzling calls for electoral reform by throwing peaceful protestors in jail,” said Donna Guest, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International. “We have not seen such a crackdown on political activists across Malaysia in many years.”
The global demonstration is being planned for July 9 by the Coalition for Fair and Free Elections, also known as Bersih, meaning “Clean.”
The movement is calling for is calling for a cleanup of the electoral roll, reforms to the postal vote, free and fair access to media and a minimum 21-day campaign period for politicians in the country.
The Korean event to be held in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun district on July 9 will be one of many held around the world on the same day. Protests are to be held all over Australia as well as in New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and many European countries.
The Bersih Korea Solidarity Rally is to meet at Gwanghwamun Subway Station Exit 6 at 2:45 p.m. for the rally to be held from 3-5 p.m.
Protesters in Korea were encouraged to purchase and wear copies of the yellow Bersih campaign T-shirts which have seen wearers reportedly held without charge by authorities in Malaysia.
Anyone interested in taking part or purchasing a T-shirt can email bersih.korea@gmail.com or call (010) 4363-0609 for more information.
(kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)


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