Saturday, September 13, 2008

Washington summons Malaysian envoy - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 13, 2008

The United States has summoned Ilango Karuppannan, the charge d’affaires of the Malaysian embassy, to protest what it called the “crackdown on dissent” at a time when the opposition was attempting to form a new government.

According to the AFP, Ilango was summoned to the State Department after the three arrests under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Friday.

”Peaceful expression of political opinions is a fundamental right and critical to a democracy,” a State Department official told AFP.

”The United States believes that the Malaysian Government should provide due process and treatment consistent with Malaysian law and international standards,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

”We expect that democratic countries that purport to advocate free expression of political views will not curtail such freedom,” the official said.

This is the second time Ilango was summoned to the State Department in a month.

The last time was when PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was charged with sodomy.

”The United States firmly believes that freedom of the press and freedom of speech are fundamental to a vibrant democracy,” the State Department official said.

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