05 December 2011

Media Statement 29th November 2011

Resolved that the Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE) once again reiterate our concern with respect to the continuing persecution and intended prosecution of Professor Aziz Bari of the International Islamic University Malaysia by the powers that be. We urge the parties concern to stop and revoke all investigation and disciplinary proceedings that aim to intimidate students and academics from addressing their immediate concerns.

Professor Aziz is a highly regarded scholar of Malaysian constitutional law and society. While he has written many scholarly books over the years on Malaysian Constitution, he continues to be persecuted by the police, politicians and his own university (IIUM) for his scholarship. Advocates of public debates and nonviolent approaches like Professor Aziz are silenced by state power and its apparatus.

Professor Aziz is becoming the symbol against a long history of academic repression and harsh censorship in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the problem of intellectual freedom and free speech in Malaysia has had a poor record under the current leadership. In 2011, the World Press Freedom Index placed Malaysia in 143th place in a list of 196 countries, whereas Malaysia was in 124th position when the current leadership came to power in 2008. Moreover, constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, expression and assembly are undermined by other provisions, and in practice they are only partially upheld.

Prof Aziz Bari’s prosecution for exercising his right to freedom of expression conflicts with Malaysia's obligations to recognize the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; the right to freedom of expression; and the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association as delineated by the Constitution of Malaysia. Thus, threatening and intimidating students and professors for exercising their right to free expression and assembly violates international and Malaysian law.

Punishing dissenting comments and ideas badly undermines academic freedom, which is all about the right to free expression and freedom of opinion. The International Islamic University Malaysia should reinstate Professor Aziz to his former status and rescind all investigation and disciplinary proceedings.

We believe that institutions of higher learning must resolutely uphold and defend the principles of academic freedom, and must also be sanctuaries for the free expression of ideas and opinions. This means that universities must also be a haven for controversial speech. We commend our national and international colleagues for your clear and vigorous defense of academic freedom and free speech in this case, and we continue to stand firm in defense of Professor Aziz Bari.

On behalf of MOVE,

Prof Wan Abdul Manan Wan Muda
Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE)


Every person has the right to live free of coercion, discrimination and fear of violence.
Every girl and woman has the right to live free of coercion, discrimination and fear of violence

Every girl and woman has the right to education. Without education to empower economic, social and political participation, solutions to global problems of poverty, conflict and violence are beyond reach.

Yet, for hundreds of millions of girls and women worldwide, these human rights are denied. Education International works to ensure that women’s rights are protected. Further, EI recognizes that gender based violence is not a woman’s issue-it is an issue that concerns all of mankind.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked every year on 25 November, acknowledges injustice and encourages change. EI calls upon teacher organisations to raise awareness of the scope of the phenomenon of violence against girls and women, and to organise prevention measures to eliminate violence against women in the union, in the workplace and in the community. Schools must be safe spaces for all, learners and teachers, if they are to full fill their promise of truly being places where people learn and grow together.

EI advocates for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), especially Article 10, which calls for all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of education and the elimination of stereotyped concepts of roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education. Non-discriminatory education benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men.

EI seeks to build commitment to non-violence and peace in the minds of men and women education workers through gender-sensitive trade union and human rights education and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.

On this 25 November, EI calls on governments to guarantee the provision of quality universal public services, in particular quality education and vocational training free of charge and with adequate facilities, qualified teachers, gender-sensitive relevant curricula, safe transportation, and sanitation. It is through these measures that girls and women with have the chance to achieve not only literacy but empowerment and the right to lead their lives free of the fear of violence and discrimination.

For further information go to

· EI Congress resolution on Gender Equality

· ITUC Trade unions say no to violence against women and girls

· UN Women Virtual Knowledge Centre to end Violence against Women and Girls

· UN Women 16 Steps to End Violence against Women