WikiLeaks: Malaysia gave US the snub
Thu, 02 Dec 2010 12:01
By Patrick Lee
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government ignored a US invitation to co-sponsor a United Nations declaration on the freedom of political prisoners, according to WikiLeaks.
The invitation was revealed on the website of the Internet whistleblower, which recently started releasing more than 250,000 secret messages sent between the US government and its embassies around the world.
According to the website, a diplomatic demarche (or message) was sent on April 21, 2008, to Adi Mohamed, an official from the Home Ministry (Multilateral Foreign Affairs division).
According to the ministry's website, the Multilateral Foreign Affairs (MFA) division looks at Malaysia’s position on political issues relating to international peace and security. It also studies issues relating to the UN, Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the International Parliamentary Organisations (IPO).
The message asked Malaysia to co-sponsor the UN Prisoners of Conscience Declaration. Although Adi told the US ambassador here that he would inform his division of the message, the US Embassy's invitation nonetheless fell on deaf ears.
“To date, we have been unable to elicit any further response from MFA,” US Ambassador to Malaysia James Keith said in his April 24 message to the US government, three days after liaising with the MFA. (Sworn in as ambassador on July 24, 2007, Keith has since left his position as of March 15, this year.)
Two months later on June 17, the US, along with 27 members of the European Union and 36 other countries, co-sponsored the declaration.
According to a statement issued by the US State Department, the declaration called for nations worldwide to free prisoners of conscience “in accordance with the principles set 60 years ago in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights”.
According to Amnesty International, a prisoner of conscience is one who has been jailed for fighting for the freedom of expression through non-violent means.
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHKL #0317 1150901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240901Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0892
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1067
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2451
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2533
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA 0014
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0202
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2513
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0555
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0227
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1567
Thursday, 24 April 2008, 09:01
UNCLAS KUALA LUMPUR 000317
DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, IO, DRL/MLGA
EO 12958 N/A
TAGS PREL, PHUM, UNGA, MY
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: US-EU PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE DECLARATION
REF: STATE 40380
(SBU) Poloff delivered reftel demarche and nonpaper to Adi Mohammed of the of the MFA Multilateral Political Affairs directorate on April 21 and urged that Malaysia cosponsor the declaration. Mohammed promised to review the issue with the relevant MFA officials but to date we have been unable to elicit any further response from MFA.